July 28, 2014

‘Grandparent scams’ still finding victims

A spring break warning about “grandparent scams.” Jerad Albracht, a Communications Specialist with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. said it goes like this: a grandparent gets a call, ostensibly from a grandchild in trouble – and please send money. “The person posing as the grandchild will ask the grandparent for the money by wire transfer. And the hook on the scam is that they will always ask the grandparent to keep it secret.”

Albracht said that despite widespread media coverage of these scams, people continue to be victimized, in some cases losing thousands of dollars in wire transfers to the perpetrators. DATCP is asking families to be proactive. “We’d like to see students who are going to be traveling, let your extended family know where you intend to be.”

Albracht said “back up” contacts are also a good idea – a family member the grandparent can call for the straight story, if they get a late night call from a “favorite grandchild” claiming to need bail money.