“Grandparents Scam”-Safety Tip Of The Week

As you may already know Neighborhood Watch in conjunction with local police departments periodically puts out crime prevention newsletters. In the September edition for Colorado Springs there’s an article about the “grandparents scam.”

It goes like this. A grandparent gets a phone call or an e-mail from somebody who identifies themselves as your grandson. “grandma I got arrested in another country and need you to wire money quickly to pay my bail. And don’t tell mom or dad, because they’ll only get upset.” In other scenarios the individual pretends to be their niece or nephew.

The story usually follows this familiar line traveling in another country with a friend and after a car accident or legal infraction they are in jail and need bail money wired to a Western Union account to get them out. The scammer sounds upset and may state that they only have a few minutes to talk. They may have to cough or disguise their voice in some way tricking you into believing they are a relative.

The best thing to do is be suspicious and notice the country code that they’re calling from. If they are calling from an area code 914 which is Québec, Canada chances are it is a scam. If there is any doubt, contact the State Department Office of Overseas Citizens Service at 888-407-4747. They can help you verify whether if the situation is legitimate or not.

Feedback on these posts is appreciated. Have you ever had a scam pulled on you? Please share your experience. We want to hear your thoughts.

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