The department has received reports of the “grandparents scam” in our area.
The “grandparent scam” often involves a phone call or email from someone claiming to be the victim’s grandchild or other family member who is in trouble and in need of money.
The scammer will often say, “I’ve been arrested in another country and need money wired quickly to pay my bail.”
Other common questions such include the scammer saying “Grandma, do you know who this is?” and when the victim gives them a name, the scammer will continue the ruse by claiming to be in an emergency room or somewhere else in distress.
Scammers will also ask the elderly victim not to tell other family members about the dilemma.
The victim is instructed to wire money or to send cash in the form of gift cards to an address out of the country, generally a Canadian address or a P.O. Box.
The “grandparent scam” has been circulating nationwide since about 2008, according to the FBI.
We urge local residents to make their elderly family members aware of the scam and remind people never to wire money to someone who cannot prove their identity or pretends to be a representative of the government.
Also we suggest elderly residents contact their grandchild or other family member to determine if the claim is legitimate before sending any money.