It’s an old scam with a new twist – con artists know that most grandparents would do anything to help their grandkids. They attempt to exploit that love in the “Hey Grandma, it’s me!” scam by pretending to be a grandchild in distress.
The North Carolina Attorney General’s office says they have seen a significant uptick in these scams lately, particularly in the Wake County area. Just this last, the office had received a half-dozen reports of the scam.
In a current variation, callers claimed they were leaving a funeral with friends when their car was involved in an accident. After being arrested for DUI or possession of drugs, they need money to post bail. Then another person takes the phone claiming to be an attorney or law officer. They instruct the frightened grandparent on how to send the needed funds, usually via Wal Mart or Sam’s Club gift cards or by sending cash via UPS or Fed Ex.
In three instances this month, grandparents fell victim to the scam, losing a total of $44,900. This year, 32 victims have lost more than $184,000. Learn more about the grandparent scam and then spread the word, so the seniors you love can avoid being victimized by these heartless crooks.
If you think you or someone you know might have been scammed or contacted by a scammer, report it to the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or filing a complaint online at www.ncdoj.gov.