Mpls. Police: Phone Scammers Pose as Grandchildren, Demand Money

Updated: 12/09/2013 6:18 PM
Created: 12/09/2013 5:47 PM
By: Megan Stewart

There is a telephone scam targeting senior citizens with grandchildren, according to the Minneapolis Police Department.

Callers pose as grandchildren who have gotten into trouble while traveling and need money wired to them immediately. The amount of money asked for has ranged from $2,500 to almost $9,000 for instances such as car accidents, duty tax issues and bail money. The suspects have a second party standing by to pose as a bail bondsman or government official in case they are questioned by the victim.

The suspects often plead with the grandparents not to tell the parents out of embarrassment or fear of punishment. They prey on the love and generosity that the grandparents feel for their grandchildren.

The police offer these tips to ward off scammers:

  • Try contacting a family member who can confirm the story
  • Try to contact the grandchild at a number that you know is accurate such as a home or cell phone number
  • Ask questions which only a real grandchild would know the answer and be attentive to whether the caller is answering questions in detail or just guessing the answers
  • Refrain from mentioning other family members names or personal information
  • Remember that some impostors research the parties they are posing as and can answer basic questions about them
  • Do not wire any money until you are positive of the identity of the person calling you- there are no situations that cannot wait a few extra minutes to verify the identify the requester

If you receive a fraudulent phone call, try to trace the number. You can initiate a trace by dialing *57 after you hang up. File a complaint with the police immediately.

Photo: MGN Online

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