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“Grandparent” caller scam reported

Another scam happened right here in LaGrange County recently.

The Caller/"Scammer" knew Grandma's name and used their Grandson's name. When the grandma asked for his birthday the "scammer" got shook and hung up.

Grandparents Scam: What to Look For:

•       A phone call claiming to be about or from a grandchild or other family member in distress.

•       An urgent need for money to be secretly wire transferred, often to a foreign country.

Avoid the Grandparents Scam by verifying a caller's identity and resisting pressure to act before the caller's identity is verified.

Verify the caller's identity. Contact a family member who could confirm the caller's story. Try contacting the real grandchild at a number you know is accurate. A consumer can also ask questions of the caller, the answers to which only the real grandchild would know. Be attentive to whether the caller is answering in detail or just guessing the answers.

Remember, while some fraudsters investigate the grandchildren to make their impersonations more accurate, many depend upon their intended victims providing necessary information over the phone. Do not give out names or other information on family members unless you are certain of the identity of the caller. There may even be some similarities between your real grandchildren and a fraudster's impersonations. For example, some grandparents have a grandchild traveling in Canada when they receive a fraudulent phone call claiming that their grandchild needs money to return home. Even if a story seems to be true at first, verify its accuracy.

Resist pressure to act quickly. This scam depends upon a grandparent's compassion for their grandchildren outweighing any concern about potential scams. The various excuses created by fraudsters almost always involve an emergency and a desire for secrecy. A scammer often claims that there is no time to speak to others or that the "grandchild" will be embarrassed if other family members know about the situation.

Fraudsters ask for secrecy because they know if you contact another family member, you will become aware of the scam. You should only wire transfer money if you are certain of the caller's identity, particularly if the caller wants you to wire the money to a foreign country. Remember, if you wire money, it may be impossible to retrieve the money once it is picked up at the other end. Therefore, the money is virtually untraceable, and United States law enforcement agencies have little success in recovering wired funds.

If you receive a fraudulent phone call like the Grandparents Scam, try to trace the call. Also, you should promptly file a criminal complaint. You can initiate call trace by dialing *57 after you hang up from a fraudulent phone call. When you do that, the caller's phone number will be forwarded and recorded at the phone company's call identification center.

You should then contact your local law enforcement agency to file a complaint. The non emergency number for the LaGrange County Sheriff's Department is 260-463-7491.

More about call tracing with *57:

How to use Call Trace

* Hang up on the caller.

* Lift the receiver, listen for the dial tone, and press*57 or 1157 from a rotary phone.

* Follow the recorded instructions. The recording also quotes the charge if the trace is successful.

* The number will be forwarded and recorded at the CenturyLink Call

Identification Center. Under normal circumstances, three successful traces are required before any deterrent action is taken by CenturyLink or your local law enforcement agency.

* Under no circumstances will you be given the name or number of the caller.