Phone Scam targeting Elders

OFC Dyer,  Tulalip Police Department, October 29, 2018

There has been a phone scam circulating in our community targeting Grandparents and Elders.

The scam typically begins with a person pretending to be a grandchild asking their Grandparent or respected Elder for help. The person on the phone will begin with something like, “It’s your favorite Grandson” or, “ Do you know who this is Grandma?” and after they learn the name of the person they are impersonating they will develop a story where they need financial assistance or money for an ‘emergency.’

The scammer will then give the benevolent Elder instructions on how to wire money through Western Union or a similar wire service, often to a location in another country.

This scam disproportionately targets Senior Citizens and prays on their generosity.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be a relative in distress ask them questions to verify their identity. Talk with other family members to try to validate the story you are hearing over the phone.

Be wary of requests to send money over wire transfer or over the internet. In many cases the scammers will give up if they suspect the person on the other line is skeptical or aware of the scam.

As the Holidays approach scammers are working hard to get their share. Protect yourself and your family by alerting them of this phone scam.