Madison County Sheriff’s Office requests all Grandparents be aware of the newest Scam reported to our office. The “GRANDPARENT SCAM” .
On March 19, 2013 a report was filed with MCSO that a couple had received a phone call from a young person only identifying themselves as their “favorite grandson”. When the grandparent called a name of one of her grandsons they answered “Yes, it’s me” explaining they were in jail and didn’t want their parents to find out and could they please help them by wire a large amount of money to a Bail Bondsman in Panama.
This person was so convincing, the grandparent went to Wal-Mart and tried to wire the money. Luckily the transaction did not go through and the grandparent was able to keep her money. And after contacting her children found out her grandson was at home and not in trouble in Panama.
Not any one of us wouldn’t drop whatever we’re doing to help a grandchild, but before making this happen, please verify and don’t be a victim.
Scam Safety Tips.
1) Listen to the caller and take notes, including the person’s Caller I.D.
2) Don’t give the caller any of your personal information.
3) Verify your family member’s location by using a valid phone number or speaking with other relatives.
4) Contact the U.S. Embassy in the country involved and ask for assistance or verification of an arrest.
5) Report the scam to your local police/sheriff’s office or FBI
Scammers have become more sophisticated in researching their targets, likely using social networking sites such as Facebook to learn about family members who are abroad. Other times, the scammers just cold-call their targets and hope for a easy victim.
The caller posing as the family member also will plead with the grandparent to not contact other relatives for fear of getting into trouble or worrying them, a tactic that helps isolate the victims into giving money.
Many of the scammers often make it sound as if the money needs to be sent urgently, but don’t fall for it. If someone actually is arrested or in the hospital, then there should be no such rush.
Unfortunately, once the money is gone, it’s gone for good. Victims rarely get their money back.
The scam works because it pulls on the heartstrings of grandparents. Stay alert and don’t be a victim.
By Jacob Bembry
Greene Publishing, Inc.
A reader emailed this writer and told him of a scam call he had received.
The reader related that he had received a call from 409-291-5191. The person calling him claimed to be seeking information to send a new Medicare card and demanded the name of his bank. He claimed he was only verifying the records for Medicare.
The reader noted that the caller could have easily have found the routing number for the bank through a Google search and then would have requested he give him the account number.
A search for the number on Google revealed that it is a Beaumont, Tex., phone number and it has been used in a number of scams, most notably using Medicare and Medicaid cards. Some of the people have commented on their posts that the person has a very heavy accent, perhaps an Indian accent.
Be alert and do not give any banking information or credit card numbers over the phone unless it is a call that you have made to pay for something or to order something. Beware if anyone calls you requesting such information.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has received numerous reports of fraudulent e-mails that have the appearance of being from the FDIC.
The e-mails appear to be sent from various “@fdic.gov” e-mail addresses, such as “email@example.com,” “firstname.lastname@example.org,” or “service@admin .fdic.gov.” They have various subject lines such as “Update for your banking account,” “ACH and Wire transfers disabled,” and “Banking security update.”
The fraudulent messages state:
“Your account ACH and Wire transactions have been temporarily suspended for your Security, due to the expiration of your security version. To download and install the newest updates, follow this link. As soon as it is set up, your transaction abilities will be fully restored.
Online security department, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.”
These e-mails and links are fraudulent and were not sent by the FDIC. Recipients should consider these e-mails an attempt to collect personal or confidential information, or to load malicious software onto end users’ computers. Recipients should NOT access the link provided within the body of the e-mails and should NOT install any related files or software updates.
Financial institutions and consumers should be aware that these fraudulent e-mails may be modified over time with other subject lines, sender names, and narratives. The FDIC does not directly contact bank customers, nor does the FDIC request bank customers to install software upgrades.