“Grandparent Scam” Targeting Norfolkans

NORFOLK – Scammers pretending to be grandchildren in trouble are coming after residents in Norfolk.

Norfolk Police Capt. Michael Bauer says the so-called “grandparent scam” had been reported three times on Wednesday alone in Norfolk.

Bauer says the scam commonly involves a grandparent receiving a call from someone who claims to be their grandchild. The scammer will tell the target that they have gotten into some type of trouble outside of the country, and need money wired to them as soon as possible.

Bauer says scammers can often utilize social media to find personal information on their targets, to make their schemes more believable.

Anyone who feels they have been the victim of a scam is urged to contact their local law enforcement.

Common scenarios include:

– A grandparent receives a phone call (or sometimes an e-mail) from a “grandchild.” If it is a phone call, it’s often late at night or early in the morning when most people aren’t thinking that clearly. Usually, the person claims to be traveling in a foreign country or has gotten into a bad situation, like being arrested for drugs, getting in a car accident, or being mugged…and needs money wired ASAP. Moreover, the caller doesn’t want his or her parents told.

– Sometimes, instead of the “grandchild” making the phone call, the criminal pretends to be an arresting police officer, a lawyer, a doctor at a hospital, or some other person.

– The caller will ask that money be transferred by wire transfer, iTunes cards or Green Dot Cards.

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