BEWARE OF THE “GRANDPARENT’S” SCAM

BEWARE OF THE “GRANDPARENT’S” SCAM

An old phone scam that is making the rounds again. It’s called the “grandparents scam,” because the caller pretends to be the victim’s grandchild who needs money because of an arrest or car crash. A woman in Morongo Valley received a call recently in which the caller claimed to be her grandson. He said he had been arrested for DUI and needed cash to pay his lawyer in order to get out of jail. The victim drove to her bank and withdrew $4,500 to buy three $1,500 gift cards. She then gave the scam caller the numbers on the cards. The victim later learned from her daughter that her grandson had not been arrested and was OK. The victim was able to cancel one of the gift cards, but is out $3,000. Managing editor Tami Roleff offers the following tips on how you can avoid falling victim to a similar scam…
In the grandparents scam, the caller often begins the call by saying “Hi Grandma,” and then saying he or she is in trouble and asking you to keep a secret. That’s when the caller says he was in a crash or arrested and needs money. In order to avoid being taken by the grandparents scam, ask the caller information only you and your grandchild would know. Do not act without confirming the information. Call your grandchild or his or her parents first to confirm whether the story is true. Refuse to send money via a wire transfer or gift cards; you can never get it back. If you do fall for the scam, report it to the Sheriff’s Department.

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