Elderly being targeted with phone scam about relative in jail

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EPDpatch_smEdmonds police are continuing to investigate reports of residents who have received calls from individuals claiming to be relatives who have been arrested. Another tactic is for someone to call and say that they have a relative held in jail and demand bail money form the victim. The caller will either ask for money to be wired to an account or connect them with a “bail bondsman,” who will either give instructions for a wire transfer or direct them to a bank where money should be deposited into a specific account.

So far on Thursday, police investigated two incidents where nearly $5,000 was scammed from the victims. In both cases the victims were elderly and were contacted by someone claiming to be a grandchild. One victim was directed to Bank of America to deposit funds into an account while the other was directed to use Western Union.

Police remind you to never give any personal information over the phone and to never provide money, in any form, to anyone who cannot be verified. If in doubt, hang up and contact other relatives know to the alleged caller. If that is not an option, do not hesitate to call 911 so an officer can contact you to provide assistance. The scammers will be very persistent and demand that you not disconnect. Trust your instinct if you feel something is wrong.

If you feel you have already been a victim of this scam, call 911. You should then call your bank to try to stop any transaction from going through.

1 COMMENT

  1. The scammers begin by calling and saying “Grandma” If they get a positive response, they then say”Don’t you know me?” When you respond with a grandchild’s name they have both your names. Next they say “Oops, gotta go. I have another call coming in.” The scam call is placed about a month later. I know, because we were just scammed. If you get a “Grandma/grandpa” call, ask the caller a question about your relationship with them that only they will know. ie: “what did we do the last time we were together?”

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