“It’s me. Me and my friend are in Canada and got stopped by the police. I need a $1,000 to get out. Could you wire it to me? Please don’t tell mom or dad. You know how they are. Thanks.”
And with that phone call, grandma might wire $1,000 to Canada. But it’s not going to her granddaughter, who’s never been to Canada. And she’ll never see the money again.
The Ohio Attorney General’s office has had dozens of reports recently of Ohioans being targeted with these “Grandparent Scams.”
“It is reprehensible,” said Attorney General Mike DeWine.
So, if you get a call like this, be careful. Never wire money to someone who calls unexpectedly, even if the person claims to be a grandchild or other family member. A request to send the money to another country is also a red flag.
One way of checking is to ask the caller a question only the family member would know. Having a code word that only the family knows to use in such situations is another safeguard.
And don’t post travel information to social network sites. Scammers might find it and use the information to trick you.
Report a scam here, learn more at Speak Out Ohio or call 1-800-282-0515.