Island resident Jan Goetches was recently targeted by the”grandchild scam,” and she wants to make sure that others are forewarned.
“What tipped me off is that they said that it was my eldest grandson,” she said. “I explained to them that I only have one grandson, and hung up.”
Another islander, who prefers to remain anonymous, was not so lucky. In shock, and willing to do whatever it took to keep their grandchild out of jail, they agreed to pay. The “grandson” transferred them to another line, where a very professional-sounding gentleman gave them instructions on how to send the money to an account through Western Union.
They sent the money, $2,400. It is that shock that the scammers depend on.
Here’s how it works. The phone rings. The voice on the other end claims to be your grandchild, and he has been in an accident. He is fine, but he damaged an embassy vehicle in the accident. So far, the police have not been called, but the fault for the accident is definitely his.
All the embassy wants is their car repaired. Rather than call the police and deal with an insurance company, not to mention seeing your grandchild arrested, they are willing to accept the cost of repairs for the vehicle.
It is a scenario that plays out every day, and it is one of the most successful scams going today.
If you ever get a call from anyone asking you to send money, get as much information as you can and a number to call back. Hang up the phone, take a deep breath and call the person in your family that they are claiming to be. If you cannot contact them, try their parents or siblings. Whatever you do, do not allow the people on the phone to rush you into sending money.
If you are the victim of a scam, report it to the police. You may be embarassed, but scammers lie for a living. They are professionals. And if they are not reported, they will continue to prey on the fears of others.
Visit snopes.com. and do a search for details of the story you have been given. Unless the scam is brand new, it will be in their references. If it is not, send them the information so that they can build a page about it.
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