FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 19, 2017
CONTACT: Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215
PIERRE, S.D. – Attorney General Marty Jackley is again warning South Dakota seniors that the grandparent scam has resurfaced targeting all parts of the state. The scam begins with a telephone call from someone claiming to be a grandchild or other family member and requests money for a critical situation.
Consumers need to be aware that the scammers are getting better at targeting their victims by the use of the internet and social media - they are doing their homework to make the call sound more legitimate. Some calls have multiple scammers on the line impersonating the “grandchild’s” attorney. The “attorney” indicates that they have already made an agreement with a judge and all they are waiting for are funds to be received in order for the grandchild to be released.
If the scam works, the victim will wire money and by the time the senior realizes what happened, the money is long gone and most likely not recoverable.
Tips to avoid becoming a victim:
• Ask several personal questions including something that only a grandchild would be able to answer like a nickname, name of a family pet or special family tradition. This will help determine if this is a fraud or not.
• Independently contact the grandchild or parent of the grandchild the scam artist is claiming to be at a known phone number.
• Do not fill in the blanks for the caller. If the caller says, “This is your granddaughter,” ask “which one?” or “where are you calling from?” The caller is looking for answers that will assist them in the scam.
• Be cautious if the caller asks you to not tell anyone else, like the parents, because he or she will get in trouble. It is all part of the scam.
If you believe the call is fraudulent then contact your local law enforcement agency. Those who have already sent money should contact the Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-300-1986 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.