BEATRICE – Gage County Sheriff’s officers say they are getting reports of fraudulent activity targeting elderly residents.
Sheriff Millard Gustafson says one victim within the county lost over $33,000, while others have lost smaller amounts or were stopped from sending payments, by family members.
Gustafson says in one of the most common methods, the victim is contacted by telephone, and the person calling refers to them as “grandpa”, or “grandma”, leading the victim to believe it is a grandchild. When the victim uses a name of a grandchild, the caller says that’s who they are. The caller then says they are in trouble, and need money for bail, giving what appears to be a plausible explanation. Sometimes, the elderly person is told by the caller that they are embarrassed and want to keep the matter out of the news, which can be accomplished by sending money.
The scammer often gives directions on how to send money, sometimes contacting the elderly victim more than once to obtain subsequent payments. In some instances, a second person is used, posing as a law enforcement officer.
Gustafson says his office has some recent cases under investigation. He encourages persons to contact his office about any such contacts and to also contact a trusted family member when getting such calls.