By: Sharon Aron Baron
Police are warning residents about the recent increase in telephone con artists targeting senior citizens using a “distressed loved-one tactic” otherwise known as the grandparent phone scam.
The variation of the scam may involve different scenarios where a victim receives a call from someone posing as an attorney who is representing their grandson/granddaughter. In the scam on the video above, the elderly resident received a call, found out his grandson was okay and then contacted Coral Springs Police. An investigator contacted the number they left and they took the bait…..until the very end.
In the scam, the alleged attorney explains to the “victim” that his nephew has been arrested for a crime and that they are representing them. The attorney then demands a wire transfer in order to release him from jail. Typically they ask the transaction to be completed through Western Union or MoneyGram. The “attorney” may also ask the victim for a bank account number. Another tactic used to defraud senior citizens is advising them that their grandchild has been involved in a vehicle accident and they require medical assistance.
Once the victim wires the money; there is no way to reverse the transaction once it is sent. The money cannot be traced or recovered at a later time.
According to Coral Springs Police, these “scammers” are possibly locating their targets on the internet, through Google searches, Facebook or other social networking websites.
Residents are asked to be suspicious if they receive a phone call where a grandchild calls you from a faraway location, a grandchild is in some type of trouble, the caller asks for money via a wire transfer or your bank account information or someone posing as an attorney or legal counsel asks for funds to assist your loved one.
If anybody has been a victim of this type of crime please contact Criminal Investigator Specialist Gene Cashier at 954-346-1243.