The San Luis Obispo Police Department has responded to several calls from elderly residents who have been defrauded of thousands of dollars in what is commonly called the “Grandparent Scam.”
In these types of scams, suspects will call an elderly victim and claim to be a grandchild, nephew, niece, or other relative. The suspects will tell the victim that they have been arrested in a foreign country or have been in an accident in a foreign country and are in need of money for bail or medical expenses.
The scam will often utilize a second suspect who will pretend to be a lawyer, doctor, or other “official” who will instruct the victim on how to send the money. Victims are told not to discuss the transfer of money with family members or are given instructions on what to say at financial institutions if asked about the transfer. The suspects will pressure the victim to act quickly.
Suspects will ask for money to be wired via Western Union, Money Pack, or Money Gram
If you find yourself receiving one of these phone calls, you can protect yourself by;
- Notifying law enforcement immediately
- Resisting the pressure to act quickly
- Contacting your family to determine if the call you received was legitimate
- Never send money by wire based on a request made over the phone, especially if it is headed overseas.
There have been thousands of dollars lost in the last few months.