Daniel Marcotte Held in Montreal for Allegedly Scamming Seal Beach Widow out of $30,000

Perhaps you remember on the teevee from February an 86-year-old Seal Beach widow explaining how she was swindled out of $30,000 by a fellow on the phone claiming to be her grandson.

Authorities at the time suspected the thief was based in Montreal, and we now know why.

And who (allegedly).

Through the coordinated efforts of police in Seal Beach, New York and Canada, 29-year-old Daniel Marcotte was arrested in a Montreal suburb recently and is now awaiting extradition to Orange County, according to Seal Beach Police.

Marcotte allegedly called the Seal Beach woman on Feb. 18 saying was her grandson Randy, that he was in a jail in Mexico and that he needed bail money. She wired $15,000 to a FedEx store in a New York City hotel the next day. Then she did it again on Feb. 20 when "Randy" said he needed another 15 grand.

The man who picked up the money used a Canadian drivers license, according to Seal Beach Police, who began unraveling the chain-of-events after the elderly woman realized she'd been duped and called for help.

Investigators credited notes she took, video surveillance footage and tips from Montreal residents who saw those images in the local media with helping to land a suspect.

Such scams are pretty widespread; after the Seal Beach case, an elderly family member of mine was contacted by someone claiming to be his grandson in a jail where he'd been taken after a drunken driving accident that followed a friend's wedding in the Middle East. He also needed bail money, but the old man figured out it was a scam when the fellow on the line got the grandson's name wrong.

Which means all this is really going to suck for real grandsons who wind up in jail and need bail money in Mexico or the Middle East.

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!


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