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FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Police have issued a warning after a senior citizen lost $40,000 in a phone scam.

The victim, a Fredericksburg woman, reported she was scammed out of her money over a 12-day period in April.

“The victim received a call from a male who identified himself as her ‘grandson.’ The man said he was in a car accident and arrested for driving under the influence,” a Fredericksburg Police spokesperson said. “He then put another man on the phone that identified himself as Richard Cohen, her grandson’s public defender. Mr. Cohen told the woman her grandson needed money to pay for his defense and court cost as well as the medical bills of the victim.”

After several conversations with Mr. Cohen and several wire transfers, the woman grew suspicious and called her grandson.

“It was then that she realized she had been scammed,” the police spokeswoman said. “This scam has been around for years and hundreds of people have fallen victim to it.”

Anyone with information about this scam, or any crime in Fredericksburg, is asked to call 540-373-3122.