“Grandparents’ Scam” Surfaces Again In Maryland

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A phone scam directed at senior citizens has scammed some into surrendering thousands of dollars.

According to Maryland State Police, the Cumberland Barrack has received two reports of what’s been called ‘the grandparents scam’ since February 3rd. The cases are similar to others that have been reported in other parts of Maryland and across the country.

The caller claims to be a grandchild who’s been involved in a crash or has gotten into some type of legal trouble and has been arrested. The recipient is given a phone number to call, purported to be an attorney, but the person demands money – all in cash – for bail.

The callers were able to persuade two individuals to make a bank withdrawal, and they waited at home for someone to retrieve the money. Then, they got a call again, saying more money was needed to release the ‘grandchild.’

Recipients of such calls should try to resist the urge to act immediately, verify the caller’s identity by asking a question that only that person could answer, and check out the story with other relatives if possible.

Maryland State Police shared these prevention tips from the Federal Trade Commission:



 Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.


 Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call a
phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine. Check the story
out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a
secret.

 Don’t send cash,  gift cards , or  money transfers  – once the scammer gets the money,
it’s gone!

 Do not give out your personal information to someone you do not know.

 Store personal information in a safe place.

 Do not carry your social security card in your wallet.

 Collect mail every day and put a hold on it during extended travel.

 Use security features on your smartphone and computer.

 Use complex passwords.

 Do not use gift cards to pay the IRS or Social Security, tech support, a family member in
trouble, ransom or to avoid arrest or deportation or to prevent your utilities from being turned
off.

 Trust your instincts. If you think it might be a scam, it probably is one.


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