State Police in Oneida says several senior citizens in CNY have recently lost over $56,000 due to the 'Grandparent Scam.'

Beware of the 'Grandparent Scam' or “Family Emergency Scam” hitting Central New York hard this season. NYS Police is reporting three instances where Grandparents were conned out of thousands.

  • On October 8, 2018, an 83-year-old husband and wife from Verona, NY received calls from people purporting to be their grandsons who said they had just been arrested and needed $14,000 in cash for legal fees.
  • On November 20, 2018, a 79-year-old woman from Oneida, NY received a call from a person purporting to be her son-in-law who said they had just been in an accident arrested and needed $7,600 in cash because he was just arrested and needed the money for bail.
  • On November 26, 2018, an 87-year-old woman received a phone call from a person who identified as her grandson who said they needed $40,000 in cash for legal fees. The scammer allegedly then told the women to call “lawyers” who were representing them, and when they did, the “lawyer” demanded they wire him cash.

In all three cases, the money was sent without delay. These scammers are skilled enough to obtain the name of the grandchild either through a different phone call or online. They can find out the same online personal information about the grandparents.

State Police urge Grandparents finding themselves in a similar situation to try and get hold of their grandchild or the child’s parents to confirm the status of the child before sending any money.

Grandparents can also ask a question only their grandchild would know such as the name of a pet, the grandchild’s mother’s birthday or the name of the grandchild’s elementary school.

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 or call 877-382-4357.

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