Gulich Township, PA – If you get a phone call from someone saying your loved one is in trouble, don’t be so quick to believe them. Once again, something called “the grandparent scam” is hitting our area.
A 73-year-old Houtzdale man says he got a call on Feb. 25 from someone claiming that the man’s grandson had been involved in a crash where he was at fault for hitting a pregnant woman.
The victim was instructed to go to a Dollar General and purchase a Money Pack gift card for $500 and then call back with the information. The victim did so, then later realized that it was a scam.
If you receive a phone call claiming that someone you know is in trouble and needs money or that they need to be bailed out from jail, be suspicious.
These scams prey on a person’s love for their grandchild, so it’s easy to fall for it. However, if you get a phone call like this one, try not to panic or make any decisions immediately.
You should directly call the person who is supposedly in trouble… in many cases, they are at home and in no way in trouble.
What is the Grandparent Scam and how to avoid it
If someone you don’t know calls you and claims you need to send them money, gift cards, or personal information for any reason, be suspicious. If you have any doubts, you can always call your local police and check to see if it’s a possible scam.
It’s easier to fall for a scam than you might think. Picture this. You’re woken up by a late-night phone call by a person claiming to be one of your relatives, and they say they’re in deep trouble.
Your “relative” might say that they were arrested and need bail money.
If you end up giving up your credit card info, just like that, you’ve paid thousands of dollars to a scam artist.
They call it the Grandparent Scam because it generally preys upon older people and the scam artist will pretend to be a grandchild.
Amanda LeGars from the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging says it’s an especially upsetting scam because it preys on how much you care for your loved ones.
If you do get a phone call like this, try to call the person on their cell phone or home phone to see if they’re really in trouble or check with another family member.
And if you do end up becoming the victim of a scam, never be afraid or embarrassed to tell the police. They can start investigating your case, and the details you provide them can help make sure that other people don’t fall victim to the scam in the future.
If you are unsure if something is a scam, you can always call your local police and describe it. They will be able to tell you if they have seen similar cases before.
Scams highlighted in this video:
Targeting the elderly 0:58
Jury duty scam 2:02
Code *72 scam 2:51
Equifax scam 3:46
IRS scam 4:33
Concert scams 5:26
Moving House Scam 6:04
Fake Charity Scam 6:50
Phishing Calls 7:51
Kidnapping Scam 8:32
- Don’t answer the calls from unknown numbers.
- Never let strangers know your personal information. Credit card, Social Security numbers, checking account – all this should be kept to yourself.
- Don’t make the decision immediately – try to resist the pressure the criminals put on you.
- Demand the information in writing before you agree to pay for a product or service.
- Don’t send cash, be it by money transfer or overnight mail. In this case, the money will disappear, and you won’t be able to prove its existence.