Troopers warn of ‘grandparent scams’

Callers dupe the elderly into transferring money to help stranded grandchildren.

State Police are warning of suspicious calls to the elderly demanding money, a form of fraud known as the “grandparent scam.” 

Callers will generally begin the exchange by addressing the victim as if the victim were their grandparent, trying to elicit a response that reveals the name of an actual grandchild. From there, according to police, the caller will impersonate the grandchild and ask for money.

The scammers will ask for the money because of a made-up car accident or other emergency, asking for cash to be “sent to help the situation in the form of bail money, medical bills, or repairs to a car,” according to police. 

The money will then be wired to the scammer, sometimes out of the United States, or in the form of gift cards from a specific store. Scammers have also been known to insist that the grandparent not notify any other family members of the situation. 

Police say the best thing to do is to ask questions that an imposter would not be able to answer correctly, and to report any suspicious calls to authorities immediately. 

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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