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Scammers still preying on seniorsPosted Wednesday, October 6, 2010, at 12:41 PM
It's been over a year ago since Linton Police Chief Troy Jerrell called me about a scam that concerned him.
He'd taken a report from a lady in Linton who had gotten a call from someone claiming to be her grandson. He was in trouble in Canada and needed money to get out of trouble and get back home. She hadn't talked to this grandson for awhile, and it did sound like him. Long story short, she didn't fall for it and didn't send any money but instead called the police department.
An article was written to warn readers about this new scam and this ladies' experience even though I did not know her name.
The next week when I was working at an IU game, one of my coworkers, who happens to be from Linton, started talking about that story and said, "Did you know that was me?" No, I didn't. It's a small world.
She told me that it was a difficult call. She felt like it was a scam, but what if it wasn't and it really was her grandson? She didn't want to hang up if he needed help. So she listened for awhile before figuring out it wasn't him.
Now this week, the Indiana State Police has sent out a warning about this same type of deal that's still happening.
The ISP reports an 89-year-old senior citizen in Franklin County was recently duped out of several thousand dollars when he received a call from a "relative" who said they'd been involved in an accident and the senior was asked to wire money to a location in Canada.
The ISP says many times these scammers will call seniors and claim to be a grandchild or another young adult relative in some kind of trouble. They will claim they were involved in an accident, or been arrested or some other situation requiring a large amount of money to resolve the problem. The "relative" will tell the senior to "Please don't tell Mom or Dad."
The ISP also says if the money is sent to a location in another state, it may be virtually impossible to discover the scammer and if sent to a foreign country, there is nothing the police in the U.S. can do.
Here's their recommendation for seniors receiving these types of calls: Ask many questions of the caller and include something personal that only the real relative would know the answer to. If there's any uncertainty, call other family members and ask them where this relative is and make absolutely certain the request is legitimate before sending any money.
Anna is a staff writer for the Greene County Daily World and can be reached by calling 847-4487 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
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