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OVPD reminds public of grandparents scam

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Posted at 12:47 PM, Aug 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-18 15:49:17-04

The Oro Valley Police Department received a report on Tuesday about a citizen that had lost significant amount of money through a fraud over the course of a week, according to their Facebook page. 

OVPD says the victim received a call from someone claiming to be her grandson who also knew specific information about their family. 

The "grandson" said he had been in a car accident and asked the victim to wire money to multiple individuals and institutions but he specifically asked the victim to not contact his mother, referring to her by name.

Police say the scam included details about a foreign consulate who, over the course of the week-long scam had passed away, which amplified the amount of money the grandson had requested from the victim. 

OVPD says the victim also started receiving calls from an older sounding man with unaccented English claiming to be a lawyer who was familiar with their family structure.

OVPD says the public should be aware of the following: 

• “Family members” asking for money to be sent via Western Union, MoneyGram, Greendot card, or other methods are a very common tactic involved with scams.
• The “family member” will also ask you not to contact other family to verify their story. This is a common tactic to keep the victim from determining the validity of the story. Always verify the story of someone requesting funds by checking with family and making sure their story is accurate.
• Detailed family history information is available on most individuals via simple internet searches, and other tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter provide potential scammers extremely convincing information that can be used to appear authentic. 
• A sense of urgency almost always accompanies these scams, whether it be in the form of threats from fake IRS and court officials, or threatening a family member’s safety. As the level of urgency and threats increase, so should your suspicions that you’re dealing with a scammer.

If you have any questions or concerns about a situation that you suspect may be fraudulent, you are asked to to call the Oro Valley Police Department at (520) 229-4900 before any funds are sent.