Summit County Office of Consumer Affairs warns Residents of Grandparent Scam
The Office of Consumer Affairs has received a complaint regarding an 80 year old senior citizen who fell victim to being scammed out of nearly $4,000.00.
On Monday September 25, 2017 a resident from Cuyahoga Falls reported that her elderly father received a call from someone claiming to be his grandson who said he was arrested and needed money to be bonded out of jail. The scam artist then instructed the senior to first call his “attorney” and give him money to bail him out of jail. The senior then called this “attorney” who reiterated the instruction. The grandparent was told to purchase $4,000 of Target gift cards and then call back with the card numbers, which he unfortunately did. The grandfather subsequently found out his real grandson was never arrested or in jail.
This incident mirrors other reports found through the Federal Trade Commission and other local consumer affairs agencies. These scam artists play on your emotions and seniors are often the most vulnerable victims.
Such scammers target senior citizens knowing that they are most vulnerable concerning their grandchildren. These scammers are very intelligent and difficult to apprehend. These thieves operate out of state or even out of the country. They use throw away cell phones, and untraceable credit cards. If you fall for this scam and give money to these people, your money is most likely gone.
How to Outsmart the Scammer …
Here a few tips to help prevent grandparent scams:
- Do not fill in the blanks – Don’t give out a relative’s name. “Johnny is that you?”
- Verify That it is your grandchild by contacting their parents or asking a question only the REAL grandchild would know the answer to.
- Resist Pressure to send money quickly and secretly.
- Refuse To send money through the purchasing of gift cards, iTunes cards or any types of debit cards, wire transfers or overnight deliveries and never give out personal account information.For more information on this or other consumer topics, please contact the Office of Consumer Affairs at 330-643-2879, or visit consumeraffairs.summitoh.net 9/28/17