A man accused of extorting money from a number of vulnerable seniors in Beaumont, Cabazon, Menifee and Perris, was arrested on Wednesday.
Michael Cross, 51, of Hemet, could face seven counts of extortion, 11 counts of attempted extortion and seven count of elder abuse, according to Riverside County Sheriff’s officials.
Investigators said Cross called elderly people by phone, convinced them he was their nephew or grandson and told them he was in desperate need of money, officials said.
Cross would tell the victim’s he needed money to get out of trouble and would arrange to meet at an ATM or restaurant parking lot, officials said. Even when the person arrived, Cross would continue the charade by claiming he as a friend of the nephew or grandson's there to collect the money on their behalf, officials said.
Cross was booked in the Robert Presley Detention Center on March 27. He has a court date on March 29.
Investigators said they believe there are more victims who were conned by Cross. The Sheriff's Department urges anyone who believes they were victimized to call Investigator Jason Trudeau, at the Perris Station by calling (951) 210-1000, or email the Perris Station PerrisStation@RiversideSheriff.org.