Lorain man loses $4,000 in family emergency scam

Lorain man loses $4,000 in family emergency scam

LORAIN, OH (WOIO) - Police in Lorain have issued a scam warning after an elderly man was conned out of $4,000.

Police say the man fell prey to a family emergency scam. He reported receiving a call from an unknown number claiming to be his grandson. The caller, who said his voice sounded different because he had a cold, said that he was in jail in Cleveland. A second caller posed as a police sergeant from the jail and instructed the victim to go to Target and purchase two $2,000 gift cards to pay his grandson's $4,000 bond.

The victim bought the gift cards and gave the suspect the pin numbers over the phone. He then called his grandson and learned that he was not in jail but was safe at school.

Police say this is a known cam that targets elderly victims. They say to always be suspicious of people who demand payment in gift cards. They also say not to wire money or send a check.

If you receive a call from a friend or family member saying they are in trouble that you worry may be a scam, police suggest resisting the urge to act immediately, verifying the person's identity by asking questions only they would be able to answer, calling the friend or family member by a number that you know is theirs and checking the story with someone else in your family or circle of friends.

You can report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.

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