Southern Pines Woman Falls Victim to 'Grandparent Scam'
A Southern Pines woman is out $2,300 after falling victim to a telephone fraud that has been dubbed the “grandparent scam.”
On Nov. 29, the woman reported to the Southern Pines Police Department that she had been a victim of a telephone fraud scam. The woman reported that she had received a telephone call from a male who claimed to be her grandson.
The male caller informed her that he had been involved in a motor vehicle accident, was injured, and subsequently arrested for driving while Intoxicated. The caller informed the women that he needed $2,300 to be released from jail. The caller went on to inform the woman that he was embarrassed by his predicament and asked that she not inform anyone of his arrest.
The caller requested that the woman wire him the money using the Western Union service, which she did. The male caller telephoned later in the day to retrieve the Western Union confirmation number necessary to retrieve the money. The woman supplied the male caller with this number.
The victim received another telephone call from a male caller that again indicated he was her grandson. The caller informed the woman that as a result of his accident that had led to his previous day’s arrest his nose was broken and he had been treated at a hospital. The caller indicated that he needed an additional $2,300 to pay the hospital since they would not release him until he did.
The woman confided in a friend who made contact with the woman’s grandson and determined he was in fact not the caller and not in any distress or trouble. It was at this time the woman notified the police.
According to a release from the Southern Pines police, this larceny by deception fraud has been in use for some period of time and is called the “grandparent scam.” This type of scam has been reported to occur by telephone, email and on social networking sites.
To avoid falling for the grandparent scam and similar schemes, the Southern Pines police recommend that if you get a call or a message asking for help, hang up or log off and contact the family member directly to make sure the request is legitimate. They also recommend that you should ask the person questions that only your real family member would be able to answer.
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