July 2, 2020
Delaware County Sheriff Craig DuMond again warns all Delaware County residents of a new wave of telephone scams occurring throughout the county during this nationwide pandemic.
The Sheriff’s Office has once again recently received a number of complaints of phone scams of all kinds occurring, one of which is known as the “Grandchild” or “Grandparent” scam. They often start out with urgent pleas such as: “Grandma: I’m in the hospital, sick, please wire money right away” or “Grandpa: I’m stuck overseas, please send money” and the callers will often use the grandchild’s given name to validate the call. Grandparent scams can take a new twist – and a new sense of urgency. Here’s what to keep in mind:
In grandparent scams, scammers pose as a panicked grandchild in trouble, calling or sending messages urging you to wire money immediately. They’ll say they need cash to help with an emergency – like paying a hospital bill, posting bail or needing to leave a foreign country. They pull at your heartstrings so they can trick you into sending money before you realize it’s a scam. In these days of Coronavirus concerns, their lies can be particularly compelling. But we all need to remain calm, vigilant and safeguard our money for the real family emergencies.
So, how can we avoid grandparent scams or family emergency scams? If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a grandchild, other family member or friend desperate for money:
- Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.
- Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine. Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
- DO NOT send cash, gift cards, or money transfers – once the scammer gets your money, it’s gone!
- Never give personal or banking information such as Social Security number, dates of birth, bank account numbers, checking account numbers, or routing numbers.