WV Attorney General Warns Consumers Against Grandparent Scams
CHARLESTON, WV (WFXR) – West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey is urging residents to be aware of a scam involving callers claiming their grandchildren need help.
Scammers have been known to call old people pretending to be their grandson.
Others claim to be law enforcement with news of a loved one.
They often indicate that the grandchild in question is in another state or country and is in urgent need of money due to an emergency.
“Most grandparents would do anything to help a struggling grandchild because they are incredibly generous to family members in need. This is why it is so important to exercise caution when receiving such calls. Think carefully before handling money in this situation.
Patrick Morrisey, Attorney General of West Virginia
The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General recently received reports of the scam circulating in Mountain State.
Word of the scam often surfaces during the holiday season as students head to college.
Scammers rely on the goodwill of grandparents to protect their grandchildren from potential punishment that could cause those who receive such calls to decide not to check with the child’s parent.
Consumers can follow these steps to avoid becoming a victim:
- Stay calm and don’t react immediately;
- Get a callback number;
- Call the known number of the grandchild or other family members to see if there is really an emergency;
- Ask a question that only the grandchild would know the answer to – such as the name of a pet, the child’s nickname, or where he attended school;
- Never give out bank routing information or credit card numbers to anyone over the phone;
- Be skeptical of any request for a wire transfer or use of a prepaid debit card, regardless of the identity of the requester; and
- Do not wire money until someone else has verified that the alleged child is in serious trouble. Check local prisons and / or hospitals.
If you think you have been the victim of a scam like this one, you can contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General at 1-800-368-8808 or click here.
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