WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – What would you do if a relative called you from an unknown number and asked for money?
The White Plains Department of Public Safety is warning residents to be careful after a senior citizen living in the city was the victim of a phone scam. According to the department, an unnamed elderly woman had been contacted by a person claiming to be her grandson.
“In a recent White Plains incident, a victim of this scam said the caller concocted a story that her grandson was with a friend driving in Buffalo, New York and crossed the Canadian border and was arrested for drug possession. He instructed her to wire money to Canada to post bail,” the department announced on its website.
The scammers use the individual’s hacked email or phone address book to find the numbers of relatives. They then pretend to be that person and ask for money to help them buy a plane ticket, bail money, or any number of urgent needs. The victim is convinced to wire thousands of dollars into the scammer’s bank account.
The department has offered advice on how to avoid being duped:
Be wary of anyone asking for money over the phone or Internet.
Research people you meet online via social networking or dating websites.
Be wary of those who ask you to send money through a third party, and watch for grammar mistakes, misspellings and broken English in emails.
An Ontario, Canada area code may also be indicative of a scammer.
For more information on how to protect yourself from scams, go to www.stopfraud.gov
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