Police dispatcher foils grandparent scam

Police dispatcher foils grandparent scam

In recent times, we’ve posted about how scammers are upping their game so to speak when it comes to grandparent scams. As you may know, the grandparent scam specifically targets the elderly as the name implies. The scammer will pose as one of the victim’s grandchildren and claim that they need money for bail or some other kind of emergency. They’ll ask the victims not to say anything to the rest of the family.

Since the grandparent scam has become prevalent, we’ve seen stories of scammers sending someone to the victim’s home to collect the money, scammers keeping their victims from hanging up the phone, and scammers claiming there is a gag order in place to prevent the victim from talking to relatives. Now, at least one scammer has tried to get local police involved to convince the victim that they were a grandchild.

In Falmouth, Maine, a police dispatcher was able to thwart one of these instances. The scammer is said to have called police claiming to be a relative of an elderly resident. The scammer asked police to check in on the woman since they had not heard from them in a while. This type of call is not unheard of by police as many people will ask police to conduct a welfare check. The thought here is that if actual police visit the victim’s home, the victim will believe the scammer is actually one of their grandchildren. Luckily, the dispatcher personally knew the victim in this instance. The dispatcher was able to ask the scammer questions that only a family member would know before the scammer’s story started to fall apart.

While the dispatcher is to be commended, we can’t all have personal friends at the police department looking out for us. As with any grandparent scam. never let the caller keep you on the phone. Always reach out to someone who knows the grandchild’s whereabouts or call the grandchild directly. Reach out to family even if the caller says not to. Even if the call is real no one is going to be sentenced to life in prison if you hang up on the phone call from the supposed grandchild.

If you know an elderly person or couple who live alone and do not have access to the internet, please let them know about this scam. Also, consider setting up a family password for just such emergencies so you can verify the person calling is who they say they are.