BLADEN COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) - Be skeptical if you receive a phone call from someone claiming to be a family member needing money. It’s happened before and it’s happening again — the “Grandparent Scam” is going around in the area, according to the Bladen County Sheriff’s Office.
“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,” Sheriff Jim McVicker advised. “We can help you verify if the call is real or not.”
According to the Federal Trade Commission, you may get a call from someone pretending to be your grandchild claiming to be in trouble. They will likely tell a story that they have been in an accident, are in jail, in the hospital or stuck in a foreign city and they need money.
The caller typically adds enough details about how, what or where the emergency happened to make the story seem plausible.
“The scammers are very convincing and usually have some correct information that leads ou to believe they are truthful,” McVicker warned. “They use your emotions about wanting to help your grandchild against you.”
In 2017, nearly 1 in 5 people reported losing money to an impostor scheme like this, amounting to a loss of $328 million, according to the FTC. Those ages 70 and older have suffered the highest average losses.