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scam alerts from the Prosecutor's Office

Grandparent Scam - Episode 4
March 28, 2017

This scam has received many news reports, but victims still fall prey and they are usually the elderly. This scam was conceived by criminals who read a true story about a young lady who went to Mexico on a spring break from college, got drunk and ended up in a Mexican jail. Too embarrassed to call her parents, it was reported she called her grandparents to send $5,000 to get her out of jail and back home. Scammers then used this story to imitate a grand child, call the grandparents and plead for money to get home. All that was required was a wire transfer, green dot money card or MoneyGram card for thousands of dollars to seal the deal. Usually it never takes long for the victim to find that the child is safe and sound and never locked up. The Ohio Attorney General calculates that the average loss for this scam is $7,500.00, sometimes more and sometimes less, but always a total unrecoverable loss to the grandparent. It is also a scam that is seldom reported because it takes a fair amount of courage to overcome the embarrassment of being taken in for such a sizeable loss or the possibility there may now be a reason the grandparent cannot be trusted to manage financial matters without a court appointed guardian. In these cases the love of a grandchild immediately overwhelms the unsuspecting victim which can be overcome by paying attention to how this scam works.

The solution is in your eyes now. Learning about this scam will help you avoid it and simply hang up. Nevertheless, if still unsure simply call the child even if the caller says it’s the one and only call the caller can make from the Mexican jail. Or, call the parents of the child and you will probably find the child is safe at home or in school.

This scam also has many variations on the theme such as a call that the child is in need of emergency medical treatment with emergency funds needed immediately. Remember, forewarned is forearmed.

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To report a scam, call our hotline at 1-888-662-3673
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