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Grandparent scam hits more victims

Grandparent scam hits more victims

(Scams) Permanent link

Consumers in our state continue to be targeted by Canadian crooks posing as grandchildren in trouble. All Consuming sounded an alert about the Grandparent Scam back in July. Shortly after, victims began telling their stories about how they’d wired thousands of dollars to cons. And now KOMO has a new report of victims losing serious money. Crimes like this can also take a serious emotional toll on their victims.

It’s not clear how the scammers are getting the names of the grandchildren or their targets. They may use public Web sites or simply say "Hi, Grandma!" when the phone is picked up and wait for the victim to provide the name.

If you get a call like this, ask for personal information. If the caller can't provide their middle name or birth date, you'll quickly know something's fishy. One of the families interviewed in KOMO's story has since established a security password to help identify legitimate callers; it's a good idea.

Posted by AGO Blog Moderator at 09/15/2008 08:15:04 PM | 

I almost got scammed yesterday. (1-15-09) I received a call from a scared little voice saying "grandma, I'm in trouble...." I immediately said "Robbie, honey what is wrong". He said, "I'm in jail grandma..." it was somewhat garbled and hard to hear, but there was no doubt in my mind it was my grandson asking for my help. He needed $3400 wired to Vancouver for his bail. Thankfully, an alert Customer Service rep at WalMart Moneygram warned me of the scam, it had happened to another lady in their store the day before. My caller ID identified the scammer's phone #514 433-9822 in Montreal, Quebec. These rats are still out there.
Posted by: Carol Wilson ( Email ) at 1/16/2009 10:57 AM

We were scammed this morning using my granddaughters name saying she was in jail for a DWI and needed $2700. When her "so called Attorney" contacted us an hour later, he wanted the Western Union 10 digit number which we did not provide and got our money back. What really tipped us off was they were calling from the same area code we are in and saying they were in Niagara Falls, Ont., Canada.
Posted by: Charles Webb ( Email ) at 7/13/2009 4:02 PM

I was nearly scammed last week, 9/3/09. My "grandson" said he was calling from the police station in Niagra Falls; the friends he'd gone fishing with had been caught with drugs. However, he was "clean" and asked me to bail him out. An "Officer Anders" came on the line with instructions how to Moneygram $2,950 to an international bail bondsman in Manchester, Eng. He gave me a 514 number which I later learned was from Montreal. I rushed from the bank to Moneygram with the cash. Hours later with no word from my grandson that he was out of jail, I called his cell and learned he had never been to Canada. So I said goodbye to nearly $3,000. However, early the following day "Officer Anders" called to tell me that Moneygram had blocked the money. He even supplied an 800 Moneygram number I could contact for arranging to get my cash back. When I told him I was on to his scam, he answered lamely "Oh, we must have a man with the same name as your grandson." I have tried to find someone at Moneygram to thank for their vigilance, but so far get nothing but phone prompts!
Posted by: nancy carmichael ( Email ) at 9/8/2009 1:52 PM

Two weeks ago, I went as far as sending $2900 through Moneygram to an "international bail officer" in Manchester England so my "grandson" would be released from jail in Niagra Falls, Canada. An "Officer Anders" came on the line to give me instructions and also his 514 phone number which I learned later was a Montreal exchange. He actually answered at this number when I called back to tell him the money was on its way. When hours passed with no news from my "grandson" I called Nicholas on his cell phone and learned he had never left home in California. Early the next day, "Officer Anders" called to tell me Moneygram had blocked my "bail" money! He even provided me with a Moneygram 800 number to arrange for a refund. When I told him I was on to his scam, his nonchalant reply was: Oh well, I guess we have the wrong guy with the same name as your grandson. He knew it was Nicholas, from what I had said; however, he used my last name which is different grandson's. How he got it I don't know. At any rate, I got all my money back, thanks to Moneygram.
Nancy Carmichael 8/16/09
Posted by: Nancy Carmichael ( Email ) at 9/16/2009 12:22 PM

my mom Just got the same call someone called saying my grandson was in jail
514 559 4696
Posted by: son ( Email ) at 11/2/2009 11:33 AM

I know alot of people are wondering how you can find out relatives names, but to let everyone know it is very easy. These people use websites like or Intellius will actually list relatives. In addition they use the sites everyone uses to track your ancestry. These ancestry sites are easily used. This is sad that this is happening.
Posted by: AJ ( Email ) at 11/7/2009 10:58 AM

My parents just got scammed out of $10,000 today. I feel so bad as they were posing as my daughter. They should have called me or asked some questions. When they hear that their grandchild is in trouble they do anything.
Posted by: June Hawryluk ( Email ) at 12/19/2009 3:19 PM

I received a phone call from my a male voice who said he was my grandson (by Name) and had been arrested for a Dui in Canada. He said he was being held in a detention hall. He sounded as if he were on drugs. Twice I said, "This just doesn't sound like y ou." But because he was slurring his speech, I thought maybe that was why. However, I've always told my children (AND my grandchildren) that if they end up in jail because of some foolishness that they would just have to serve their time. Heartless as it sounds, it seems to have worked in my family--so I passed my philosophy on to the scammer when he asked for $3500.00. The thing that annoys me the most is that I told this creep that I loved him!
Posted by: Bonnie Nelson ( Email ) at 2/10/2010 10:11 AM

Wow The same call came to me saying that they were in jail in Canada and not to tell anyone and an attorny would be calling me back ..when a different person called me saying that they were the attorney I calmly said this call is being traced. They, more than one, screamed and hung up....I am putting a device on my phone and I think everyone should....Yep I said I love you too to the scammer!!!!!
Posted by: Anne Baxter ( Email ) at 10/6/2011 12:40 PM

MY friend told me this morning 2-20-13 that he got a phone call at home on Tuesday afternoon from his grandson. The voice said grandpa….This is Timmy… I need your help I am in jail. MY friend said for what Timmy? The young man said he had been out the night before and had a couple of beers and accidently rear ended another car. He said the people were from Peru and were leaving Tuesday going back home to Peru. He said the people he rear ended did not take out insurance on the car they rented and he had to pay them $2100.00 for the damages they had to pay the rental car company before he could get out of jail.
He then said he would have his public defender call him with all the details. MY friend said ok. Said a few minutes later he gets a call from a guy that is supposed to be representing his grandson. The man tells my friend the situation about the accident and how his grandson has to reimburse the people he rear ended for the money they were out and then he could get him released from jail by 2PM. The man told my friend to go to Wal-Mart and send a money gram to a name and address in Peru then call him back with the numbers from the transaction when it was done. My friend did that. He went to Wal-Mart and sent $2100.00 to the address in Peru. At 2PM called his grandson and ask if he was out of jail yet and the grandson said Grandpa I’m not in . My friend said but you called me and had me send money to some people you rear ended that live in Peru. He said his grandson said… I haven’t called you at all grandpa…I was not in an accident or in jail. So My friend called the money gram people and told them what had happened they. Money Gram checked and the money had not been picked up yet. Money gram canceled the transaction and told My friend to go back to Wal-Mart today and get his money back from them.
My friend said the voice sounded like his grandson but was a little different and he asked the grandson if he had a cold? The grandson impersonator responded yes and being in the cold jail didn’t help it any.
I asked my friend to keep me informed as to the outcome of all this.
Posted by: Jeff ( Email ) at 2/20/2013 9:30 AM

have an emergency code word that only you and your family foxylady when the scammers call ask them for the code word you set up/simple
Posted by: mike ( Email ) at 1/5/2014 10:30 AM

Very similair Scam Just Attempted
in Luthervile Md today 11-19-14
Posted by: Tom ( Email ) at 11/19/2014 11:20 AM

Very similar scam happened to my mom yesterday 11/26/14. The number was a Canada number.
Posted by: Lori ( Email ) at 11/27/2014 10:32 AM

Bail scam happened to my 82 year old Father in Las Vegas, NV November, 2014. Lost approx. $5000. Devistated. Does not understand it was a scam. Thinks his real grandson stole from him. Won't speak or listen to Family. Store cashier at local grocery store was suspicious and start asking what my dad was doing and refused to allow him to send any more money. So thankful for her stepping in.
Posted by: Monica ( Email ) at 11/30/2014 7:07 AM

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