MESA COUNTY, Colo. — A grandmother in western Colorado was conned out of $400 by a person who claimed to be her granddaughter, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators said the “Grandparents Scam” is making the rounds again and it might be more believable than ever thanks to social media.
“A person is calling seniors in our community pretending to be their grandson or granddaughter saying they are in a foreign country, in trouble, and need money,” the sheriff’s office warned.
Investigators said a scammer convinced one woman that her granddaughter was in trouble in Canada.
The woman believed it because her granddaughter travels to Canada often. Scammers might be finding information like that on social media, investigators said.
The sheriff’s office had advice on how to spot the scam.
- The scammer will usually start the conversation off with “Hi Grandma/Grandpa.” Naturally, we typically respond with a hello and then say our loved one’s name, like “Hi Megan,” or “Is that you Bobby?” That’s how scammers find out the person’s grandchild’s information, making the scam sound even more real.
- The scammers may also pose as the law enforcement agency of the foreign country and use a similar tactic to get your family member’s name. Here’s an example: “Scammer: ‘Hello ma’am, this is Officer Joe with the Canadian Police. Your grandson was arrested for drunk driving and he thought you might be able help him. Is that correct?’ Victim: ‘Yes, of course! Is Mike, OK?’
Investigators say always call the person who is reportedly in trouble before sending anyone any money.
“If you can’t get a hold of them, try to contact other family members, friends, or even their work to verify the story,” the sheriff’s office suggests.
Anyone who believes they have been scammed should call the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office at 970-244-3500.