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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

CT man accused of WI ‘grandparents scam’

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Wednesday, November 1, 2023   

A Connecticut man has been indicted by a Wisconsin grand jury for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Matthew-Ramos Soto, 26, of Hartford allegedly stole $200,000 from Wisconsin seniors over a week in October 2022, prosecutors said. According to the indictment, the scam involved calling a target and falsely claiming to represent one of their relatives who had been arrested and needed money for bail. The indictment also alleged Ramos-Soto and his co-conspirators picked up the money in person.

Kristen Johnson, communications director for the Better Business Bureau of Connecticut, said disengaging right away can help people avoid this kind of scam.

"Put down the phone, hang it up and call your grandchild," Johnson recommended. "Do not call the number on your caller ID because scammers can spoof caller IDs, they can spoof names and numbers. Look in your phone book and actually call the number to that grandchild and say, 'Did you really just call me? Are you OK?'"

Other ways people can remain vigilant against scams are to ask questions of the scammer only a family member could answer, and do not wire money if there is any doubt about the call.

Johnson noted the scam has not yet been reported in Connecticut but urged anyone who has been a victim to report it on the Better Business Bureau's Scam Tracker. Ramos-Soto faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Though older adults are some of the most likely targets for similar scams, they are not the most susceptible to them. Johnson pointed out younger people, ages 18-24, are more susceptible to scams.

"While older adults were less likely to fall for scams when targeted, when they did fall for them, they lost a lot more money than someone ages 18 to 24, because people ages 18 to 24 just don't have as much money to lose."

She added people should talk with older adults in their family to ensure they are not as impulsive to act on certain scams. Around 74% of adults age 55 and older are susceptible to scams, losing an average of $350 per scam in 2022.


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