Holliston police warn of ‘grandparent scam’; victim lost more than $10K | #phishing | #scams | #education | #technology | #infosec



HOLLISTON — Police are warning residents about a new version of an old scam after one victim lost a “substantial” amount of money to scammers recently.

Detective Christoper Avey said a resident lost more than $10,000 to the so-called “grandparent scam.”

“These people are preying on mostly elderly people who are trying to be good and help a loved one,” he said.

Typically, many scams that target the elderly involve gift cards or pre-paid credit cards. This one, though, actually involves someone in person.

How it works, Avey said, is a person, typically someone who is elderly, will get a call from someone who said their grandchild “was involved in some sort of tragedy,” such as a bad crash or they’re in custody after being arrested.

The person on the phone will then ask several questions to determine how much money the potential victim can pay.

“They’re trying to get as much money as they can,” Avey said.

The victim is instructed to get cash and put it an envelope. The following day, the caller’s “courier” will arrive and take the money, often showing the victim an email from the court or have the original caller call the victim again to confirm that was the right person to give the cash.

“The courier leaves and the money is in the wind for good,” Avey said.

The scam doesn’t end there. The scammer will often call back and say they need more money and try to get the victims to go to a UPS store, put the money in the box and ship it to addresses in Florida. That’s usually when victims realize something is wrong.

Police recommend that before sending any money or giving a courier any cash, to contact family members to confirm there is a relative in need.

“We’ve been hearing about this happening in several communities,” Avey said. “It seems to be happening a lot lately.”

Norman Miller can be reached at 508-626-3823 or nmiller@wickedlocal.com. For up-to-date public safety news, follow Norman Miller on Twitter @Norman_MillerMW or on Facebook at facebook.com/NormanMillerCrime.

This article originally appeared on MetroWest Daily News: Holliston police warn of grandparent scam. Victim lost more than $10K



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