GROVELAND 一Chief Jeffrey Gillen and the Groveland Police Department wish to warn the community about scamsthat target senior citizens, and would like to offer tips to avoid becoming a victim.
In the so-called “grandparent scam,” a scammer calls the targeted victim and posses as a grandchild or other relative and reports that they have been arrested and need money to be released by local authorities. The scammer urges the senior not to tell anyone else in the family.
The scammer requests bail payment in cash or gift card, to be given to a person posing as a courier or bail bondsman who arrives at the victim’s home. Or, the scammer requests money be transferred via a wire service, such as Western Union.
In a variation of this scam, a second scammer posing as a law enforcement official calls the senior to reinforce the bogus story.
The Groveland Police Department state that government agencies, including law enforcement, never contact the public demanding payment by wire transfer or by prepaid cards. In every case, once the money is transferred or the debit card number is given, the money is usually lost forever and cannot be recovered.
A resident recently became a victim of this scam and the situation is being actively investigated by Groveland Police.
While it is extremely difficult to recover these funds, residents and community members should always report these scamsto the police.
Groveland Police remind residents that any arrest or detainment of relatives can be confirmed with the arresting police department or through the local district court clerk’s office.
Avoiding the ‘grandparent scam’
If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:
- Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger could not answer.
- Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
- Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
- Do not wire money or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
- Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Anyone who has questions or believes they may have fallen victim to a scam, please contact the Groveland Police Department at 978-521-1212.