Pleasanton police encouraged residents to be aware of phone scams that typically ask someone to send money to help a loved one get out of jail.
Such scams are not new, said Officer Archie Chu, and Pleasanton seniors often get targeted for calls where the scammer claims the resident's grandchild is in trouble.
Common scams include the caller saying a grandchild is in jail in Mexico, and the caller will ensure their freedom if the resident sends thousands of dollars on prepaid money cards.
Other phone scams include callers claiming grandchildren or family members have been detained by immigration officials or scammers claiming they are from the IRS or another government agency and saying the resident or a family member has a warrant out against them but the caller will "make it go away" if the resident sends money, he said.
"It's basically some kind of threat," Chu said.
Pleasanton resident Yvonne Cevello said she and her husband recently got a call from a scammer who claimed her granddaughter was in jail in Mexico after a car accident.
The scammer put a woman on the phone for a few minutes who said "Hi grandpa" and said she had been in Mexico for a wedding. They were then asked by the scammer to send $2,000 via a money gram.
Cevello and her husband quickly realized it was a scam and contacted the authorities, but they want other residents to know how tricky the callers sounded. She said the scammers used her granddaughter's name, even though Cevello hadn't revealed the name to the callers.
"I know of so many people that fall for it," she said. "The elderly absolutely do."
"Grandma usually says 'Eric, is that you?' Then they say, 'Oh yes, it's Eric.' It always involves grandma and money grams," Cevello said.
Other scams include a caller saying they have a winning lottery ticket but can't cash it because they are a felon or an illegal alien, Chu said.
Often, the scammers ask for a prepaid debit or credit card to be sent, which makes it difficult to trace. Before that was a common tactic, scammers would ask for money to be sent via Western Union.
Chu said such scams are common nationwide, not just specific to Pleasanton.
In other police news
* A Pleasanton home was burglarized last week after someone sawed a door in half to get inside.
The incident occurred in the 8000 block of Rockford Place, with the culprit or culprits sawing horizontally through the front door and kicking in the bottom half, according to Pleasanton police.
A neighbor saw at least one person run from the house and get into a black BMW around 11:58 a.m. on Aug. 21, police stated.
About $2,200 in electronics was reported stolen, including two iPads, three laptops and an iTouch, police stated.
No one was home at the time of the burglary, and no arrests had been made as of Monday.
* About $20,000 in jewelry was stolen from a Pleasanton home during a burglary on Aug. 22.
The burglar entered the home around 9 p.m. on the 9200 block of Klemetson Drive, ransacked the master bedroom and stole about $20,000 in jade jewelry, according to police.
The burglar then tried to open another bedroom door, but a resident of the home heard the burglar and called out to them before he could see who it was, thinking they were another member of the household, police stated.
The burglar then ran from the house, and the resident who was home didn't see them, police stated.
An antique jade jewelry set with a necklace, earrings and bracelet were reported missing, police stated. No arrests had been made as of Monday.
* Police are investigating after a group of teenagers egged cars in a west Pleasanton neighborhood.
A group of teenagers allegedly threw eggs at four cars near the 8200 block of Regency Drive around 3 p.m. on Aug. 16, police stated. The eggs stayed on one vehicle throughout the day in 100-degree temperatures, according to police.
Residential security cameras captured the incident, according to police, who said they are looking into the vandalism, and no arrests have been made.