Community members have reported to the Sheriff’s Office that they have been the target of this particular scam. The would-be victim gets a call unexpectedly from someone who claims to be a friend or relative. This scam often targets grandparents with the caller claiming to be their grandson or granddaughter. Scammers have also claimed to be a family member or even a law enforcement official. The scammer claims there’s an emergency and asks for money to be sent immediately.
How does the scammer pick their target? Sometimes they contact people randomly, or use marketing lists, telephone listings, and information from social networking sites. They also hack into email accounts and send messages to everyone in the would-be victim’s contact list.
If you get a call from someone claiming to be a family member or calling on behalf of a family member asking for help, confirm that it’s legitimate before you send any money. Don’t act right away, no matter how dramatic the story is.
Contact the person they claim to be directly, even if the scammer states the incident is a secret. If you can’t reach the person, contact someone else – a friend or relative of the person.
If you have fallen victim to this scam, contact your local law enforcement agency to file a report and report to the incident to the Federal Trade Commission at FTC.gov/complaint.