MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A South Florida man is facing charges after prosecutors said he acted as a “money laundering agent for individuals perpetrating what is known as ‘the Grandparents Scam.’”
According to the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, the scam involves someone posing as a grandchild or relative of the victim, and claiming to be out of town and in need of help, usually related to an arrest.
In some cases, the scammer pretends to be a relative’s lawyer or bail bondsman.
Prosecutors say the fake relative claims to need money for bail, hospital bills or other fictitious expenses and gives the victim instructions to deposit money into their bank account.
The victims are told not to tell anyone and are sometimes called additional times so the fake relative can ask for additional funds due to “negative developments” in their case, prosecutors said.
“When a 22-year-old like Alvaro Esteban Jaramillo Fajardo revels in helping to allegedly steal the savings of caring grandparents and the elderly, there is something truly wrong. Sadly, some people seem to believe that it’s always easier and more sophisticated to take someone else’s money rather than work for it oneself,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement Thursday. “The grandparent scammers and those ensuring that the scam works all deserve to hear the sound of a jail door closing behind them.
“Assisting the Aventura Police Department in this operation were the Sunny Isles Police Department, North Miami Police Department, North Miami Beach Police Department, Hollywood Police Department and Ft. Lauderdale Police Department, and all deserve our thanks for their hard work in helping to disrupt the activities of these scammers.”
Jaramillo Fajardo is facing charges in connection with eight victims, who range in age from 71 to 88.