The Carroll County TRIAD would like to remind people about an old scam that has been hitting the Carroll County area. The Grandparent Scam. The Grandparent Scam is so simple and so devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, compassion and love.
The con artist will place a call to an older person and when the older person picks up; they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the con artist has established a fake identity without having any background research.
The fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (medical bills, being arrested, overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram.
At the same time, the con artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.” They usually ask you not to tell anyone.
I have seen reports of people being asked for thousands of dollars and funds being sent to other countries and in the United States. Once the money is sent to another country it is almost impossible to retrieve it. If a relative calls asking for money due to an emergency and requests a wire transfer call the parent or the child to confirm this is a real emergency. Remember con artists are always changing their tactics so not every situation is the same. Always confirm the situation before sending money by wire transfer. If you have any questions please call Randy Craft, Carroll County TRIAD, at the Lanark Police Department, 815-493-6931.