Middlesex County prosecutor issues ‘grandparent scam’ warning after victim loses $11K

Prosecutors are warning residents of the “grandparent scam,” which they say has been on the rise in recent weeks in Middlesex County.

Lanette Espy

Feb 7, 2023, 5:17 PM

Updated 530 days ago

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South Plainfield police arrested two people for allegedly scamming an older adult for $11,000.
The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is warning residents of the “grandparent scam,” which they say has been on the rise in recent weeks in Middlesex County.
During the scam, the caller poses as a grandchild who needs help. They claim there has been an accident, an arrest or a robbery. The caller may also pose as an attorney or law enforcement official calling on behalf of a grandchild in trouble.
South Plainfield police arrested two individuals on Jan. 23, saying they scammed an older adult for $6,000 when he thought his grandson needed bail money. Authorities say the scammers requested an additional $5,000 after receiving the payment.

Prosecutors offered these tips to protect yourself and others from this scam:

• Do not get flustered, take time to think. The scammer will make the situation seem urgent to pressure you.
• Do not confirm any personal or financial information. Scammers fish for facts to utilize to their benefit. If the caller says, “It’s me, Grandpa!” don’t reply and say your grandchild’s name.
• Verify who is calling (offer to call back using the phone number you have for that person). Scammers will use programs to appear as if they call from a trusted number.
• Call someone you trust or the police for an opinion about the call. Scammers will say they don’t want anyone to know because they are embarrassed.
• Do not send any cash, wire money, or provide numbers from gift cards or cash-reload cards to a person claiming to be a grandchild. Trust bank employees that warn you that you may be a victim of a scam.
• Call 911 or your local police department if you believe you are being victimized. If you sent money to a suspected scammer via Western Union, call the company’s fraud hotline at 800-448-1492. If you used MoneyGram, call 800-926-9400. If the transfer has not yet been paid, they may be able to stop the transaction and refund your money.


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