(Ripley County, Ind.) – Grandparents may want to act quickly if they receive a phone call from a grandchild stuck in a horrible situation, but Indiana State Police say they need to stop and think.
A northern Ripley County couple was scammed out of $11,000 recently by someone posing as their grandchild.
“The victim reported she received a call from her ‘grandson’ saying he had been involved in a crash in a foreign country and had been drinking. He said he was in jail and needed money for bail, attorney fees, etc. He said, ‘Please don’t tell Mom and Dad,’” says Sgt. Noel Houze.
The grandmother wired the caller money via Western Union to Canada. It was only days later she found out it wasn’t her relative. Indiana State Police investigators followed up and “Googled” the numbers shown on the victim’s caller ID – 416-238-0000 and 438-777-7947 – to find that they were commonly linked to a scam.
“The caller will do their very best to get the sympathy of the grandparent by crying, begging, saying if the money isn’t received by a certain time they could be jailed for years. The caller will say anything to get the intended victim to act as quickly as possible without considering the consequences of their actions,” said Houze.
If you receive a call like this, do the following:
-Write down the number from your Caller ID and Google it. If told to call a certain number, Google that number too.
-Verify who you are talking to. Ask personal questions only the real “grandchild” would know the answers to.
-If told, “Don’t tell Mom and Dad” beware. After hanging up, call “Mom and Dad” anyway tell them of the call you just received.
Houze said in this case the victims’ money is unlikely to be recovered. Police in the United States can do mothering to help recover the money or file criminal charges.