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Police Warn Of 'Grandparent Scam'

New York State Police officials are warning residents of a "Grandpa" or "Grandma" scam where callers ask for money to get their grandchildren out of trouble.
New York State Police officials are warning residents of a "Grandpa" or "Grandma" scam where callers ask for money to get their grandchildren out of trouble. Photo Credit: New York State Police

The New York State Police are currently investigating at least one case of “Grandparent Scam” and would like to remind the public of this often used scam.

This common scam involves unknown individuals calling older or elderly people and then pretend to be a relative of the victim, usually a grandson or granddaughter. The caller starts out the call by stating “Grandma?” or “Grandpa?” which in turn usually elicits a response from the victim citing the name of a grandson or granddaughter.

The unknown caller then feeds from this info and pretends to be that relative while reporting that he or she has been involved in some sort of criminal issue or a motor vehicle accident and requests money be sent to help the situation in the form of bail money or repairs to a car.

The money is usually wired to the scammer outside the United States and the “grandchild” requests that the victims not contact his or her parents and report the situation so as to not be in trouble or avoid embarrassment. Incidents of this nature usually result in the victim losing thousands of dollars.

The State Police suggest that anyone who receives such a call should ask questions that an imposter would not be able to answer correctly such as the date of their mother’s birthday or the city they were born in, and to call the family of the person who is allegedly seeking assistance to check on the legitimacy of the request. Any call should also be reported to officials immediately.

The most recent local incident in Saratoga County involved money being sent to the Dominican Republic for bail using an out of country phone number. The amount requested was $1,225.

Anyone who may have also experienced something similar and been a victim should contact their local, county, or state police station.

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