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Beware of the Grandparent Scam

Contributed

The Bladen County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Jim McVicker is advising everyone to be aware of the “grandparent scam” that is going around Bladen County.

“We have seen a rise in this type of scam and are asking the public to be aware of this scam and to contact the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office before you send money to anyone,”  said Sheriff McVicker.

Beware if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a family member and needing money.

According to the Federal Trade Commission this is how the call may go:

You get a call from someone pretending to be your grandchild.  The person explains that they are in trouble, with a story about being in an accident, in jail, in the hospital or stuck in a foreign country and they need your help.

The caller adds enough details about how, what or where the emergency happened to make the story seem plausible.  The caller may even sound like your grandson or granddaughter.  Often the caller tells you that a third person, such as a lawyer, doctor or police officer, will “explain everything to you” if you call him or her. This financial ruse has been making the rounds in various incarnations for years.

In 2017 nearly one in five people reported losing money in an impostor scheme like the grandparent scam, amounting to a loss of $328 million, according to the FTC. And those ages 70 and older have suffered the highest average losses.

“The scammers are very convincing and usually have some correct information that leads you to believe that the story is truthful.  They use your emotions about wanting to help your grandchild against you,” said Sheriff Jim McVicker.

Anyone that suspects a grandparent scam or any other type of scam is asked to contact the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office before giving any money to the caller.

“We can help you verify if the call is real or not,” said Sheriff McVicker.

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