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Phone Scam Targeting Elderly on the Rise

The caller poses as a grandchild and begs for money.

Information courtesy of the Gig Harbor Police Department.

The has seen an increase in telephone scams targeting elderly members of the community.

There have been several recent reports in which someone claiming to be a grandson or granddaughter calls to report that they are in need of money following an accident - usually in a foreign country. The caller begs that the parent not be contacted and then requests that funds be sent through a wire service to aid in their emergency situation.

“In virtually every instance, this scheme is fraudulent, and we have no investigative leads to follow,” reminds Gig Harbor Police Sgt. Sharon Cox.

Please be aware that this is a scam and remember:

  • DO NOT wire money unless you initiate the transaction or have confirmation about the legitimacy of the recipient.
  • Question the person claiming to be your grandson/granddaughter about things only they would know.
  • Ask for a call back number.
  • Contact the parent of the supposed relative and confirm their whereabouts.
  • DO NOT provide any personal information (cell phone, address, birth date etc).

If, after contacting family and questioning the caller, you verify this is indeed a relative in need of help, then work with other family members to provide the assistance needed.

There are several variations of this scam that also may include a relative reportedly being arrested in another state or country. Protect yourself and never give personal information to anyone over the phone or internet that you cannot verify.

For more information, please contact Sgt. Sharon Cox at 253-853-2424.

Michael Dwells April 23, 2012 at 07:52 PM
I certainly agree with the tips shared in this article. Scams continue to happen because most victims, as reported at www.callercenter.com, easily get worried and act according to the scammer's expectation.

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