Lake County Sheriff's investigators are looking into a reported phone scam that targeted an elderly Upper Lake man who sent more than $8,000 to someone in Peru after being told his nephew needed the money to get out of jail.
The wire transfers came after phone calls to the victim last week by a man who identified himself as "Frank Griffin," said Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Steve Brooks.
The caller told the Upper Lake man to wire money to a "Mary Blake" in Peru in order to assist his nephew, Brooks said.
The victim, whose name was withheld, twice wired money, Brooks said. Shortly after sending off the second transfer, the Upper Lake man learned his nephew was not in Peru, Brooks said.
Brooks said those responsible appear to be tapping into online directories with personal information and using the names of victims' relatives in order to substantiate their calls.
He warned Lake County residents to be wary of callers posing as relatives and asking for money on behalf of other family members.