Scam Alert From the Marianna Police Department
Posted by: Matt Boster
Date: Mar 14 2013 11:05 AM
The Marianna Police Department has been notified by a concerned citizen that there is scam going on called the Grandparents Scam. You may get a call or an email unexpectedly from someone who claims to be a friend or relative. This often happens to grandparents with the caller claiming to be their grandson or granddaughter. The caller says there’s an emergency and asks you to send money immediately. But beware, there’s a good chance this is an imposter trying to steal your money!
Sometimes they contact people randomly. They also use marketing lists, telephone listings, and information from social networking sites, obituaries and other sources. Sometimes they hack into people’s email accounts and send messages to everyone in their contact list.
In some cases they don’t even know the names of your friends or relatives. For instance, the scammer may say “Hi grandma,” hoping that you actually have a grandson. If you ask, “David, is that you?” the scammer will say “Yes!” Often these crooks will call in the middle of the night and take advantage of the fact that you may not be awake enough to ask more questions and you may not want to disturb other people by calling them to confirm the information. Sometimes the scammers do know the names of your friends or relatives. They can get that information from a variety of sources. Your relatives may be mentioned in an obituary or on a social networking site. Your email contact list may contain the names of friends and relatives.
These scammers ask you to send money through services such as Western Union and Money Gram because they can pick it up quickly, in cash. They often use phony IDs, so it’s impossible to trace them. Contact the money transfer service immediately to report the scam. If the money hasn’t been picked up yet, you can retrieve it, but if it has, it’s not like a check that you can stop – the money is gone.
Sadly this is not the first time a Marianna resident has been targeted, luckily this time the crook was unsuccessful in obtaining any money. If you get a call like this please contact other family members or your local law enforcement before sending any money or giving any personal information.