Phone Scam Targeting Older Village Residents
The Pinehurst Police Department is warning residents about a telephone scam that preys on the elderly and cost one resident almost $6,000.
Capt. Floyd Thomas said Tuesday that he has received three reports from residents about the scam, which involves an unknown party in Canada posing as the resident's grandchild. In those three incidents, the scammer claimed that the grandchild had been arrested in Canada and needed money to be bailed out of jail.
Thomas said the scheme can be quite elaborate, with the scammer often knowing the names of the grandchildren and grandparents before making the call. Often there is another person on the line posing as a police officer.
"What I would advise people to do is get a number to call those people back and then call their grandchildren or parents of their grandchildren and confirm where they are," he said. "The biggest thing is just to be aware that this is going on and not let it happen to them."
Thomas said if someone calls the phone number the scammers give, they never answer the phone. There were two reports of the scam in the village last year, but the residents who were contacted didn't fall for it.
In the most recent incident, which occurred on Jan. 11, the scammer asked a man to send $6,000 for bail money and to get his grandson's car out of impound. The scammers usually encourage the residents not to tell anyone, especially the parents, so they don't find out that they've gotten into "trouble."
Thomas said there are many variations of this scam, which has been reported all over the country.
He is asking residents to contact the Pinehurst Police Department if they receive a suspicious phone call so it can track it and coordinate an investigation with Canadian authorities.
Contact John Krahnert III at (910) 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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