The Indiana State Police are warning the public once again about a phone scam that is sweeping through the area and is reported annually across the state. Officials say some elderly residents have recently been swindled out of money by out-of-country con artists that are calling from phone numbers in the U.S. and Canada.
Police say the scam targets grandparents; the scam artist calls the victim stating he is a grandson and is in trouble, usually in Canada, and needs cash wired right away. The reasons given for the call have ranged from the grandson being arrested to being hurt in a car crash and needing money for treatment.
The caller most commonly asks the victim NOT to call “mom” or “dad” and let them know, so investigators warn potential victims to always call relatives to check up on the situation, even when the caller tells you not to.
Police urge residents to never wire money without verifying the situation with relatives. In addition, never give out personal information like dates of birth, social security numbers or bank account numbers over the phone. Victims have lost funds ranging from the hundreds to thousands of dollars to this scam.
Officials encourage the use of common sense and recommend not answering calls from unknown numbers; rather, let the calls go to voicemail. If you feel you’ve been a victim, the FBI website for filing a complaint is www.ic3.gov, or you can call your local State Police Post.