Family/Friend Emergency Scam May 13, 2022

Scam Type

Family/Friend Emergency Scam

Business Name Used

Anthony Davis

Date Reported

May 13, 2022

Victim Postal Code


Total Dollars Lost


Scam Description

I was scammed by someone claiming to be my granddaughter who supposedly was in an accident while talking on a cell phone, ran a light and hit a car driven by a pregnant woman. Later they tried to add DUI charges The voice sounded identical to my granddaughter’s voice. She asked me not to contact her father who has stage 4 colon cancer and was treated in emergency and hospitalized over the weekend and saw his specialist Monday morning. She said an attorney would be calling me. He did and said he was a public defender and he was trying to arrange her bail. He said because of covid they had been using Empire Bonding Company in Philadelphia because of their fast turn around. My supposedly granddaughter asked if I could help and the supposedly public defender provided details. I was asked to send $4800 via UPS and to call him back with the tracking number. He said he would go before the judge in the morning and ask to have the charges dismissed, then my bail money would be refunded. He also said my granddaughter suffered some injuries. The next day he called with bad news that the pregnant woman suffered a miscarriage and the prosecutor’s office was looking into filing criminal charges. To cut to the chase, the woman’s family didn’t want a trial but would settle for medical expenses of $4000. I said I didn’t have it, then it was settled for $2,000 that I didn’t have and he said to call back if I could make arrangements. I didn’t have the money and when I called back, my number had been blocked on his phone. He said he might be in court so I thought he had paused his phone. I never got through. I called the Public Defender’s office, the Prosecutor’s Office, IMPD, the Sheriff’s Office, the County jail and no one had information about the “Public Defender” by name or my granddaughter. I finally called her father who contacted his daughter and said I had been scammed. The name given for the Public Defender was Anthony Davis. The money I mailed was to Jennifer Renato, 6233 Trotter Street, Philadelphia, PA 19111. I checked and therein an Empire Bonding and Bail Insurance Company out of New York and offices in Pennsylvania, and an address on Trotter Street. I am usually more careful than this, but it hit so close to home with my son-in-law dying from colon cancer. The callers had information about my granddaughter, her father, and me by name. I only wanted to help and I guess I threw away my common sense. I have contacted the Attorney General in Philadelphia, AARP, UPS, and the BBB knowing that it is after the fact, but I just want to put information out there as a reminder of scams. I am 84 years old but very alert and able to handle my own affairs and I know seniors are targeted. I will be more careful in the future.