CITY OF LAPEER POLICE DEPARTMENT
Please beware that there has been an increase in a phone scam targeting those of you with grandchildren. Scammers are contacting persons at random or from information they have obtained thru social media outlets. The scammers contact the potential victim and claim that they are either their grandchild or are acting on behalf of the grandchild. The scammer claims the grandchild is in trouble (normally with law enforcement) and needs money immediately. The scammer will want the money transaction to happen quickly, as they claim there is an emergency. They will want you to forward money thru a gift card, money order or they may even come to your home to collect the money. Please review the four basic signs of a scam below and contact your local police department if you are just not sure or something does not feel right.
FOUR SIGNS THAT IT’S A SCAM:
- Scammers PRETEND to be from an organization you know or family member.
Scammers often pretend to be contacting you on behalf of the government. They might use a real name, like Social Security Administration, the IRS, or Medicare, or make up a name that sounds official. Some pretend to be from a person you know such as a grandchild.
They use technology to change the phone number that appears on your caller ID. So, the name and number you see might not be real.
- Scammers say there’s a PROBLEM or PRIZE.
They might say you’re in trouble with the government. Or you owe money. Or someone in your family had an emergency. A common scam used is the scammer claims your grandchild has been arrested and needs bond money.
- Scammers PRESSURE you to act immediately.
Scammers want you to act before you have time to think. If you’re on the phone, they might tell you not to hang up so you can’t check out their story. They will want you to provide money immediately and to not speak with others first.
- Scammers tell you to PAY in a specific way.
They often insist that you pay by sending money through a money transfer company, or by putting money on a gift card and then giving them the number on the back. Some scammers will want you to pay them directly and may come to your home.
Some will send you a check (that will later turn out to be fake), tell you to deposit it, and then send them money.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID A SCAM:
Never pay someone who insists you pay with a gift card or by using a money transfer service. Never deposit a check and send money back to someone. Never have someone you don’t know come to your house for payment. Verify claims of an emergency involving a family member. Never give out your personal information.
Stop and talk to someone you trust. Before you do anything else, tell someone – a friend, a family member, a neighbor – what happened. Talking about it could help you realize it’s a scam.
David W. Frisch
Chief of Police