Consumer Alert: Fake Grandchild Scam Making the Rounds

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CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Beware!  A scam commonly knownly as the "granny scam" is making the rounds once again.


The Alliance Police Department took a report from a local senior citizen on 10-14-09 regarding a rising scam referred to as the "Granny Scam"

This scam was popular in the Canton area last year and continues to victimize elderly persons across the United States - now in the Alliance area.

The scam involves a young person calling a senior citizen and claiming to be the victim's grandchild - although they only impersonating the grandchild.

The fake grandchild will tell the grandparent that they went to Canada and got arrested as a result of a car wreck or drinking and driving etc .. They will further explain that they are in jail in Canada and need bond money to be released.

The bond amount is usually in the thousands of dollars, They sometimes explain that a bondsman will call the grandparent in several minutes to explain how to transfer the cash to Canada.

The fake grandchild will ask the grandparent not to call his/her parents so the grandchild will not get in to trouble.

By the time the grandparent makes contact with the real grandchild days later, they find out that they have been scammed and the money is not recoverable.

It is not known for sure where these criminals get the names of grandchildren and victims, possibly from web posts and personal networking websites like "Facebook" and "MySpace". These types of cases are very difficult for law enforcement to successfully investigate.

Our best tactic is prevention and education so people do not fall victim to these criminals.

Thankfully in this situation here in Alliance the victim called the police department before sending the money and the theft was prevented.