Southern Pines police warn of 'Grandparent Scam'
Posted December 2, 2010 10:23 a.m. EST
Southern Pines, N.C. — Southern Pine police issued a warning Wednesday about the so-called "Grandparent Scam" in which a person poses as an elderly person's grandchild in order to take money from them.
Police said that in late November, a Southern Pines woman got a call from a man claiming to be her grandson. The man said that he was in jail on drunken-driving charges and needed $2,300 to make bond. The woman sent the man money via Western Union.
The next day, the man called again, still claiming to be her grandson, police said. He said he had been injured in the wreck and needed another $2,300 to pay the hospital bills.
The victim told a friend about the calls. Police said the friend contacted the victim's real grandson, who said it wasn't him who'd made the phone calls. The victim then reported the scam to police.
Police said that this fraud has been used for some time and has occurred by telephone, email and social networking sites. They urged people to take precautions.
- If you get a call or a message asking for help, hang up or log off, and contact the family member directly to make sure the request is legitimate.
- Ask the person questions that only your real family member would be able to answer.
- Never give out personal information to anyone who calls you on the telephone, emails you or contacts you online.
- Be careful when wiring money in response to a phone call, email or online message.