By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Three people, including a woman from Baltimore, are facing federal charges saying they were part of a nationwide scheme to target the elderly.

Members of the scheme said the victims’ grandchildren were in trouble.

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“In making these phone calls, these conspirators typically posed as a police officer, or a lawyer, or some other position of apparent authority,” Jonathan Lenzner, Acting US Attorney for Maryland, said. “They told the victims that their grandchild needed thousands of dollars for some urgent purpose such as bail money or legal fees.”

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More than 70 people across the country got the phone calls and were tricked into sending $1.5 million, often in cash.

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The three defendants in this case are charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

CBS Baltimore Staff