‘Family Emergency Scams’ Costs Two Senior Citizens Over $14,000
Two Central New York senior citizens were defrauded out of over $14,000 as a result of a scam New York State Police are calling the "Grandparent Scam" or "Family Emergency Scam."
State Police say they have received a number of new calls regarding scammers reaching out to the elderly population in an attempt to scam them out of their money. Their methods are being used to make the victims believe their loved ones are in danger and in need of money.
According to police on June 10th, 2020, a 75-year-old woman from Mexico, NY was contacted and told by a scammer posing as the woman's daughter-in-law. The woman posing as her daughter-in-law claimed she had been arrested and needed $9,000 for her legal fees. The woman fell for it and sent the money to the scammer.
Police say another incident was reported from June 8th, 2020. Officials say a 95-year-old Central Square woman was convinced an attorney was calling on behalf of her granddaughter in need of $5,500 for an accident she had just been in. The woman succumbed to the scam.
New York State Police say these scams are sophisticated because scammers basically do their homework. From Facebook, other social media platforms and prior calls the scammer gets personal information such as names and activities to make the calls seem much more legitimate. As a result, the money is sent to scammers without hesitation. State Police recommend if you feel suspicious of a call of this nature, you're encouraged to reach out to other family members to confirm the validity of the incident being reported. Police recommend calling parents of grandparents or spouses of children to confirm if they are indeed in trouble. Grandparents are also asked to ask questions of the people on the phone, only that person would know.
Police urge anyone victimized in similar incidents to contact the New York Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-771-7755 and to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online at ftc.gov/complaint or call 877-382-4357.