Man Arrested in Suspicion of Phone Scam of Menifee Seniors

Menifee Police Thursday arrested and booked a Hemet man on seven counts of extortion for a telephone scam in which he tried to trick senior citizens into giving him money.

Michael Cross, 51, was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center after invetigators served a search warrant at an address on Inez Street in Hemet. He was also booked on 11 counts of attempted extortion and seven counts of elder abuse.

According to police, Cross randomly called numerous senior citizens in Menifee, Perris, Beaumont and Cabazon and tricked them into believing he was their nephew or grandson who was in desperate need of money. Cross would tell the victim he needed money to get out of trouble and arrange for them to meet him at an ATM machine or restaurant parking lot. Cross would claim to be the nephew/grandson's friend when he met the victims to collect the money.

Investigators believe there are several more victims who are unaware they were victimized or possibly embarrassed they were conned by Cross. The Sheriff's Department urges anyone who believes they were victimized by such a ruse to contact Investigator Jason Trudeau at the Perris Station by calling 951-210-1000, or email the Perris Station PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.

Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip using the Sheriff's CrimeTips online form.




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