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updated: 4/4/2014 12:47 PM

Wire transfer error saves Mt. Prospect woman $55,000

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By Freida Gad

A 79-year-old Mount Prospect woman nearly lost $55,000 in a phone scam, but her money was saved when her wire transfer failed.

A man phoned her around 9 a.m. March 17 claiming to be her grandson. He told her he had been arrested in Minnesota after a traffic accident that seriously injured the other driver, according to the police report.

He turned the phone over to someone claiming to be a public defender, who told the woman she needed to send the money to an individual in Canada. She rushed to her bank and withdrew the money, which she wired to Royal Bank of Canada from a Mount Prospect branch of Bank of America, the report said.

After a transmission error kept the transfer from being completed, the woman received a call from the scammer telling her about the error message and asking her to retransmit the money. At that point, the woman became suspicious and contacted her grandson, who said he had not been in an accident.

A Mount Prospect police officer talked to Bank of America and Royal Bank of Canada, and the woman got her money back, minus a small processing fee.

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