06-15-10 Grandparent Scam Continuing to Target Idaho Seniors;
a warning from the Idaho Attroney General
the following is courtesy of the Idaho Attorney General:
STATE OF IDAHO
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
For Immediate Release
June 15, 2010
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Grandparent scam continues in
(Boise) - Attorney General Lawrence
Wasden says his office continues to receive complaints from Idaho
senior citizens and their families reporting attempts to cheat the
grandparents out of money in what is known as the "grandparent
scam." Wasden warned grandparents not to wire money to
callers claiming to be their grandchildren.
The complaints repeat a common
story. For example, one Idaho grandmother reported that she
had wired $11,000 out of the United States, believing that her
grandson was in prison under horrible conditions. Other
grandparents report wiring $6,000 to scammers in Ireland, thinking
a grandchild was in distress.
A typical call goes like this:
Victim: Is that
Caller: Yeah, Grandma, it's me
and I need some help. I wrecked my car in Canada and I'm in
jail. I need $3,000 for bail so I can get out of jail.
I called you because I don't want Mom and Dad to know I'm in
trouble, so please don't tell them I called. Can you wire the
money to me today, Grandma? I don't want to spend another
night in jail. And you won't tell Mom and Dad, promise?
Sometimes the caller will hand the
phone to another person who will claim to be a police officer or
"These calls are a cynical hoax,
originating mostly in Canada," Attorney General Wasden said.
"Anyone who receives such a call should be very skeptical.
Ask questions to verify the caller's identity. Before you do
anything, call the parents or other family members. Don't
wire money, which is like sending cash and is almost impossible to
recover. Don't give credit card or bank account information
over the phone if someone calls you."
Idaho grandparents should also be
aware that they may be contacted again by the scammers now posing
as police officers requesting that money be sent.
Wasden said any Idaho resident who
has sent money should file a report with their local police or
sheriff. They may also contact the Attorney General's
Consumer Protection Division. In the Boise area, call
334-2424. Elsewhere in Idaho, call the toll-free number,
"It is very difficult to trace funds
sent by wire transfer," Wasden said, "but if information is still
'hot' and there is a Canada connection, my office can help people
get in touch with the Phonebusters anti-fraud hotline run by the
Royal Canadian Mounted Police and provincial police."
The Phonebusters toll-free number is
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