Local Authorities Warn to Avoid the "Grandparent Scam"

By: Garin Flowers Email
By: Garin Flowers Email

The Madison County Sheriff's Office is warning people to avoid a new problem to hit their area, it's called the "Grandparent Scam."

"Scams will never never go out of style," said Dale Wetmore, a Madison resident.

Last week, one couple in Madison says they got a call from someone saying it was "their favorite grandson."

MCSO said when the grandparent called a name of one of her grandsons they answered, "Yes, it's me."

The person went on to say they were in jail, did not want their parents to know and needed money wired to a bail bondsman in Panama.

"Hang up, just hang up. Anytime anybody wants something from you over the phone, hang up," said Wetmore.

"I'm more like a family person, I would probably respond quick, but I would have to go through a lot of things and make sure that it's really one of my family members," said Greg Cooley, also a Madison resident.

MCSO said the couple was convinced by the person on the phone and tried to wire money, but the transaction didn't go through.

They avoided the scheme, but others may not be as lucky.

Authorities warn if you run into a similar situation, try to get the person's number off of caller I.D, hang up the phone, then report the scam.

"You have a lot of people trying to get over on you so I would be very cautious about it," Cooley said.

Here are more tips released by the Madison County Sheriff's Office:

1) Listen to the caller and take notes, including the person’s Caller I.D.
2) Don’t give the caller any of your personal information.
3) Verify your family member’s location by using a valid phone number or speaking with other relatives.
4) Contact the U.S. Embassy in the country involved and ask for assistance or verification of an arrest.
5) Report the scam to your local police/sheriff’s office or FBI.

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