01/20/2014

Beware of "Grandparent Scam"

The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office has recently been alerted to criminals again attempting to scam residents using a method that has been around for the past several years and seems to be circulating back to this area.  The scam is referred to as the “grandparent scam.”

The scam involves a victim being contacted by telephone from a person claiming to be a grandchild.

The scammer tells the victim that he or she went on a trip to a foreign country (in the most recent case Mexico) and was arrested.

Posing as the victims’ grandchild, the caller asks the victim to immediately send money for bail.  The scammer may either request the money be paid by credit card over the phone or by money wire service.

According to the scammer, if the victim does not send money, they will have to stay in jail for several more weeks or months before they have another court hearing.

Fortunately, in the recent incidents involving Cherokee County residents, they recognized this as a scam and the call was terminated.

Citizens are reminded to always be cautious when someone contacts them asking for money, credit card information or identification, such as name, birth date, social security numbers even attempting to confirm their address, etc…

These scammers are professional criminals, typically prey on seniors, and unfortunately are often times good at what they do.  They can seem very convincing and legitimate. 

Many of these scammers operate outside of The United States but a U.S. number may appear on your caller I.D.

If you receive such a call, you should not provide any information, hang up and notify law enforcement.