Area seniors being targeted in ‘grandparent scam’

Police are warning the public following a significant increase in a fraud attempt referred to as the ‘grandparent scam.’

The scam usually involves a grandparent receiving a phone call from a person claiming to be their grandchild.

“The caller advises they have been arrested and require cash to be released. The phone is then passed to an individual claiming to be a police officer or bond officer and a demand for cash payment is made to release the grandchild,” reads a media release from the DRPS.

“The fake police officer instructs the grandparent to withdraw funds and advises that someone can attend the grandparent’s residence to pick up the money or requests a wire transfer. The demand for cash often becomes increasingly aggressive.”

Police say an elderly resident received a phone call on Dec. 9 advising that the his grandchild had been in an accident and needed $9,000 to be released from jail.

“Out of concern for their grandchild, the victim agreed to pay the money and a male attended the victim’s residence to collect it. The victim later learned the grandchild was fine and contacted police. Five other attempts were reported by other victims on the same day,” the media release reads.

The DRPS is reminding residents that officers never contact family members and request cash bail or send someone to a residence to collect bail.

“If you receive a call like this, do not wire money or give the caller any information. Hang up and call your grandchild or another family member, then report it to police,” the media release reads.

If you are the victim of a fraud you can report it on DRPS website or by calling 1-888-579-1520.

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