APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker says police are receiving complaints about the recent revision to the so-called “grandparent scam,” in which grandparents are asked to send money to an “attorney” to give the request more legitimacy than the original scam.
“Usually the scammer calls a grandparent and tells them that he is from an out of state police agency and the grandparent needs to send money to get their grandchild out of jail,” Parker wrote in a Wednesday statement. “Scammers have gone so far as to have grandchild sounding associates speak to the grandparent on the phone in order to convince them of the legitimacy of the request.”
Parker says it’s easy for scammers to find young people’s grandparents and target them for calls, especially on social media websites. The callers are skilled at making people believe their grandchildren are in genuine danger, a key element of the scam’s success in bilking grandparents out of millions of dollars.
According to APD, it’s worth taking the time to be sure a request for help comes directly from the person in question.
“Members of the public are warned never to send money to anyone without thoroughly checking out the reason for sending the funds and the person making the request for the funds,” Parker wrote. “If you believe you are talking to a relative asking for money, authenticate the identity of the relative before sending anything.”