PIERRE, S.D – Attorney General Marty Jackley is warning South Dakota seniors to be cautious if they receive telephone calls from someone who claims to be their grandchild and requests money for a critical situation. In this reoccurring scam, a fraudster calls an elderly individual and poses as a grandchild. The person calling uses a plea for help and a sense of urgency when asking for a wire transfer in amounts up to $6,500.
Here are some tips to remember 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.
Don’t hesitate to call another family member or the grandchild directly with a number that is familiar to you.
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