Grandparent Scammer Posing as FBI Agent Arrested After Caught Trying to Scam 80-Year-Old Hamilton Man for $15K

April 17, 2022

HAMILTON TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On April 15, 2022, an 80 year old Hamilton resident received a telephone call from a male identifying himself as working for the F.B.I.  The “F.B.I.” employee stated that the victim’s daughter was in their custody for possession of one hundred pounds of marijuana.  To secure her release, the victim would have to produce 10 percent of a $200,000 bail.  The victim called back the F.B.I. employee after securing $15,000 of the funds, the F.B.I. employee stated he would be sending someone to pick up the money.

The victim was able to reach his daughter and found she was safe and not in custody.  The victim realized this was a scam and contacted Hamilton Police Division Criminal Investigations.  Detective Thomas Clugsten, who responded to the scene along with Hamilton Police Anti-Crime Unit officers, located and arrested Mildreth Santamaria-Tirado 40 years of age from Corona, NY as she was speaking to the victim on the porch of his residence attempting to complete the pickup.  Santamaria-Tirado was transported to Hamilton Police Division Headquarters where she was charged with Theft by Deception and processed accordingly.  Santamaria-Tirado was released from Hamilton Police custody pending a court date.

Anyone who has additional information relevant to this case is urged to contact Detective Thomas Clugsten of the Hamilton Police Criminal Investigations Section at (609) 581-4027 or by email: tclugsten@hamiltonpd.org.  Information can also be left of the Hamilton Police Division’s Crime Tip Line (609) 581-4008.

The Hamilton Police Division would like to warn the public that if a phone call is received from persons posing as officials demanding cash money and arranging for pickup, please keep in mind, these calls have been found to be scams.

Despite having been charged, every defendant is presumed innocent until found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



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