CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI – Grandparents and the children of those grandparents need to be aware that a scam is once again making the rounds where a call is placed to the unsuspecting grandparent where a child or grandchild is in trouble and money is immediately needed to get them from going to jail or to release them from jail.
There are multiple variations to these types of scams but they are alive and well. Some of those involve the victim receiving a call from someone posing as his or her grandchild. This person explains, in an excited voice, that he or she is in trouble: There’s been an accident, or an arrest, or a robbery. The criminal caller might claim to be hospitalized or stuck in a foreign country. They many times will use social media to learn details about a person so they can add in details to the phone call to make them sound more convincing.
In my situation I just received a call on my house phone. Before answering the call I looked at the caller ID. The call came in from a number of (877)-601-2952 that had been hijacked. I answered the call and the person on the other end said “Hi grandpa. How have you been?” My radar immediately went up. What this caller did not know was I have never been married and I have no children of my own. So to play along I said “Jerry Lee is that you?” He acknowledged that it was. The conversation continued on. He stated that he had been arrested after having been in a traffic accident and needed $3800 to make the whole incident just go away. To make that happen I was to go buy gift cards. They would stay on the line with me while I got in my car and rushed out to do as I was being instructed.
This is where I turned the tables and became not so nice. I told the person on the end that I had no grandchildren due to the reasons listed above. From there I said some unflattering comments to the caller. They, not me, quickly ended the call.
Be very careful when calls like this come in. Do not be in such a rush to help your “grandchild or children” out of a situation that does not exist.
More about various scam can be found online. A good source is AARP.org. If you receive any telephone calls that sound like this, make sure you file a report with your local police department. They need to know that activity like this is taking hold in the area.