Grandparent Scam

A Security Scam by Sally Shabaker

You get a call, often late at night, from someone pretending to be your grandson. It goes something like this:
“Hi, Grandma,” the caller says. “I’m in trouble and need your help.” If told that he doesn’t sound like your grandson, the caller will give an excuse like his nose has been broken in an accident, when in truth he is holding his nose. The caller goes on. “I’m in jail in South Carolina (or somewhere else). I was out with friends and got into an accident. I’ve been arrested on a DUI, and I’m too embarrassed to tell my parents. Can you wire $1500 for the bail money? Please don’t tell Mom and Dad.” Your grandson sounds afraid and desperate. Don’t fall for it. Ask the caller a personal question that only your grandchild would know, such as the name of your pet. Better yet. Hang up and call your grandson or his parents. Chances are his cell phone is on, and it’s likely your grandson is at home listening to music or studying. He knows nothing about this plea for help. One big tip-off – the request to wire money. “Scammers frequently use wire services to obtain your money,” says Marc. “Many of these scams originate in Haiti or Europe, so they are out of our jurisdiction for prosecution. Nonetheless, you are urged to notify local police if you believe you have been targeted by a scam.”