February 19, 2009

Grandparent scam hits Sheridan

By ALLAN TINKER

Sheridan County Sheriff Trent Naser reported the first of official complaints about the "Grandparent" scam in Sheridan County, although there appears to have been some people who have made inquiries at their local banks about "wire transfer" procedures, he stated. The scam operates thus: A telephone call comes in from a sobbing or otherwise stressed-sounding young person. They ask for the grandparent and then inquire if grandma or grandpa knows who this is. "Hi, Grandma," sob, sob. "Do you know who this is?" Grandma answers, "Is that you, Charlie?" and the game is on. As in most other possible emergency scenarios, the sound of a young relative in distress throws a parent or grandparent into high gear. The result is that the sequence of events becomes murky and the grandparent, who may have guessed at the name of the caller, recalls the conversation being that the caller identified themselves by name. In reality, the grandparent provided the name when they were invited to the "guess who this is?" game. A sad story, requiring an immediate sending of money, often to Canada or another remote location, to avoid dire consequences of some sort, generally with an accident or police arrest situation, is then told to the grandparent. The money is not to be sent through the usual, reliable methods, but by a money order or other unreliable method direct to a person or box address unknown to the grandparent.


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