AMSTERDAM – An 88-year-old Amsterdam woman lost $17,000 in a “grandparent scam” and state police are warning others about the scheme.
The woman sent two separate payments to the scammer, state police said. A clerk on her third attempt to send money realized the scam and notified authorities.
The scam began June 9 as the woman received a call from a man who claimed to be her grandson. The caller said he’d just been arrested and needed $7,000 in cash for legal fees, state police said.
The woman retrieved the cash and sent it to a New Jersey address, troopers said.
Then, on July 23, she received a second call from a man again pretending to be her grandson. This caller requested $10,000 to help after a supposed car accident, state police said.
The victim again withdrew the requested money and sent it to the same New Jersey address, state police said.
Finally, the victim was contacted a third time for another $10,000. This time, an employee at the shipping store she used discovered she was sending cash and believed she was being scammed. The employee then contacted police, state police said.
“State Police urge anyone who finds themselves in a similar situation to try and get hold of their grandchild or the child’s parents to confirm the status of the child before sending any money,” state police said in a release.
State police suggest also asking a question only their grandchild would know.
Anyone victimized in similar incidents is asked to contact the state Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-771-7755 and to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at ftc.gov/complaint or to call 1-877-382-4357.