Briefs: Washington County sheriff warns of grandparent scam

  • Updated: February 15, 2014 - 6:21 PM

birds of prey See, from left, a Harris’ hawk, Australian wedge-tailed eagle and snowy owl, during a World Bird Sanctuary presentation March 1-2 at Carpenter Nature Center.

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Authorities are warning residents across the metro, including Washington County, of a scam in which older people are told their relatives have been arrested. The scammers telephone their victims, posing as relatives, and direct them to wire money, often to a foreign country, to cover legal expenses and bail, authorities said.

Some grandparents are “more than willing to come to the aid of a grandchild in need — set aside their reservations and quickly wire money to the impostor,” the state attorney general’s office said. “Furthermore, the con artist may ask the grandparents not to contact the parents out of embarrassment or because the need is too urgent to lose time consulting someone else.”

According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, several families recently fell victim to the ruse, called “The Grandparents Scam,” losing an average of $5,000.

Residents are urged to resist the pressure to act quickly and refuse to send money through a wire-transfer service like Green Dot Cards or Western Union. Instead, authorities say, they should try to get the phone number of the caller before hanging up and calling 911.

For more information, visit the Sheriff Office’s website at

Denmark Township

Talks about raptors planned at Carpenter Nature Center

The World Bird Sanctuary (WBS) will hold a presentation on its raptors, or predatory birds, their habitats and conservation efforts March 1-2 at Carpenter Nature Center, 12805 St. Croix Trail S., Denmark Township.

Talks will be held at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The audience will be treated to the silent flight of a barn owl, as well as an Australian wedge-tailed eagle, Harris’ hawk and a snowy owl, which has been spotted in higher-than-usual numbers in Minnesota during an irruption year.

The WBS is a Missouri nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the “earth’s biological diversity and to secure the future of threatened bird species in their natural environments,” according to its website.

The cost to attend is $10 for the public and $7 for “Friends of the CNC.”


Public comment sought on Gateway Corridor

The Gateway Corridor Commission is seeking public comment on the transit route along Interstate 94 between downtown St. Paul and the St. Croix River. Officials are asking for advice on transit station locations and whether the corridor should be served by bus rapid transit or light rail.

The transit corridor is to follow Interstate 94 through Oakdale, Lake Elmo, and Woodbury. Residents from those cities are asked to comment on the route alignments under consideration.

The issues are subject to a 45-day commenting period, starting March 3, after which the commission will issue a draft environmental impact statement that identifies the project’s social, economic and environmental ramifications, officials said during a recent open house at Globe University in Woodbury.

Among the nearly 80 people who attended the meeting were state Rep. JoAnn Ward, DFL-Woodbury, and Gateway commission chair and Washington County Commissioner Lisa Weik.

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