By Adam Jerome, I-O Reporter
Recently the Conrad Police Department has been flooded with calls concerning phone scams. Over the past few months they have received an average of two to three calls a week regarding scams of all kinds.
One scam in particular involves a person calling from somewhere in Canada requesting that a grandparent send money to a grandchild because of reasons ranging from legal troubles to a broken down vehicle.
In the past few months at least three area residents have been called with this scam. The scam artists usually contact a female resident with a grandson.
The caller will identify himself by the grandson’s name. The caller then usually states something like the following.
“Hi grandma this is John and I’m in Canada on a fishing trip and my driver’s license was expired. I got arrested and I need $2,800 to get out of jail. Please send the money and don’t tell mom or dad.”
The caller might even give you a cell phone number for you to call them back. It will be answered, “Vancouver Police” or however they desire and if you ask for your grandchild, they will hand the phone back to the original person who called you to continue the charade.
The story may vary as to the reason for the call and the dollar amount requested. The caller will then request that the money be sent via Western Union or a similar carrier to a location in Canada.
According to Western Union, this scam is occurring frequently.
If you are called with a similar story you should confirm the status of your grandchild that is supposedly involved by either calling them directly or verifying the story with other family members before deciding what course to take.
You should be on guard if the grandchild calling say’s that he or she is suffering from a cold or has a broken jaw or other injury that makes them sound different than normal.
Scammers will let the victims “fill in the blanks.” If the conversation starts out with, “It’s me, your number one grandchild,” don’t give a name for a fraud artist to take on.
You should also be suspicious if they request you to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram. Wireless funds are hard to track once they’re in the hands of the scammers.
These scammers are very charismatic in their skills to convince people over the telephone.
There are numerous telephone, mail and other fraudulent scams circulating out there.
Please contact the Conrad Police Department for more information or to report any fraudulent activity.
Sometimes there isn’t anything wrong with a little cynicism.