Savannah-Chatham Metro Police warn of grandparents scam - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Police warn of grandparents scam


Savannah-Chatham Metro Police Dept. Financial Crimes detectives are alerting the public of a scam that targets grandparents in an attempt to get them to fork over thousands dollars when they think they're helping their grandchildren.

Police have received reports of callers posing to be grandchildren of victims. The caller claims they were involved in an accident, arrested for DUI or other urgent situations. The ploy begs the grandparent for confidentiality.

The victims are asked to use money cards or wire funds to a specific "attorney". Victims only discover after the fact they the caller was impersonating the grandchild.

Police said it's difficult to track the origin and are nearly impossible to trace. Financial Crimes Sgt. Jeramy Henry recommended that victims file reports with authorities for any criminal act.

"Many victims do not report these incidents for fear of embarrassment," said Chief Julie Tolbert in a news release. "Others have unrealistic hopes that we will be able to find these perpetrators and perhaps return the funds. The worst part of this scam is that it takes advantage of people who often are on fixed incomes and reach into irreplaceable savings under the false impression they are helping a loved one."

Henry offered these prevention tips:

  • Ask the caller posing as the grandchild a question that only they can answer.
  • Contact the requesting family member to verify the caller's claim. Do not call the family member back using a number they just provided.
  • Contact the grandchild's family before sending any money anywhere to check on his or her welfare.
  • Never providing funds through wire transfers or money cards.
  • The victim should request the actual police or sheriff's department where the grandchild is to verify the information provided by the callers.
  • Never react in haste.

Copyright 2014 WTOC. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly