Pair arrested for string of grandparent scams

By Greg Collier

When the grandparent scam first became prevalent, the scammers were satisfied with just getting their victims to pay through gift cards or money transfers. Then the scammers started using unwitting ride-share drivers as couriers to pick up payments directly from the victims. Then the scammers themselves did away with all the middle men and started collecting the payments on their own. However, that presents its own problem as it allows police to arrest these scammers at the victim’s home, as one pair of alleged scammers recently found out.

Quickly, just for context, the grandparent scam is when a scammer calls an elderly victim and tells them that one of their grandchildren is in jail and needs money for bond. In reality, the grandchild is fine and is unaware of what’s being done in their name.

A pair of alleged grandparent scammers from Georgia were recently arrested in Oklahoma. According to police, the pair had targeted several elderly victims in their scheme. They probably would have more victims if not for the intervention of a bank employee. The scammers had targeted an elderly man and told him his nephew was in jail. They also told the man that after he got the money, he needed to wait for a bondsman to come collect the money. The man went to his bank to withdraw $15,000, but the bank was concerned the man may be a victim of a scam. The bank asked the man a few questions and determined he was being scammed and called police. Police arrested the ‘bondsman’ who turned out to be the scammer himself. His cohort who claimed to be a ‘currency trader’ to police was also arrested as part of the plot.

The fact that scammers are showing up at the doors of elderly victims is quite concerning, especially if the victim lives alone. It never hurts to verify the story that someone on the phone is claiming. If you think your relative may be in jail, they won’t get in any further trouble if you hang up and verify the story being given to you. Also keep in mind that bail bondsmen don’t come to you. You have to go to them if you need to post bond for someone.