Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Granny" Scams

There is an ongoing phone scam in the Ottawa area called "Granny" scam. The scheme goes like this. A supposed "grandson" would call the elderly person and ask for money because he supposedly ran afoul of a law enforcement. He will plead to the would-be victim and say everything to persuade him, using emotional tactics. Included in the "script" is that "Granny" should not tell any family members because that would just make things worse. The criminal would request "Granny" to send the money he needs for his trouble by money wire service. The "grandson" would give "Granny" a fake phone number to call, and when he calls the other end, a fake policeman or lawyer will answer and ask to wire several thousands of dollars. This will continue until the criminals suck as much money as they can from the poor, old victim.

These victims, after they lost their money, which is anywhere between $3,000 to $15,000, report the incidents to authorities. Authorities believe there are others who don't report the incident at all due to embarassment.

If you receive such calls, here is what you should do:
1. Never wire money to persons you do not know personally.
2. Contact the family members to verify about the whereabouts of the supposed "grandson".
3. Write down the caller's number. Verify it via so you can access more details about this caller. Report promptly to the police and FTC.

The criminals never stop. They will victimize from one state to another. Be vigilant and aware.

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