A Sioux Falls woman is out $10,000, after falling victim to the Grandparent Scam. The 81-year-old received a phone call saying her grandson needed money to get out of jail. Unfortunately, by the time she realized it was a scam, it was too late.
“81-year-old woman that received a phone call from somebody claiming to be her grandson. Said that he had been arrested and then that person gave the phone to a different person that said he was a detective,” said Sioux Falls Police Officer Sam Clemens.
Scams like this have been around for decades. The difference now, is the scammers are getting more creative.
“They’re really good about sounding legit, because this is where they’re making their money. So if you get all that information and hang up on them, then verify it on your own. That’s probably the one thing they don’t want to have happen,” said Clemens.
In this recent case, the woman did not call her family to check the facts until after she had mailed off the cash. This small detail may be key to tracing the mailing address back to the scammers in New York.
However, it’s still a long shot.
“If it was easy to track them down, then they’d be out of business. So they do what they can to cover their steps. It’s up to us to try and find out who they are,” said Clemens.
Clemens says it’s also important to get off the phone as quickly as possible. Scammers like to drag the conversation on.
If the scammer claims to be with a business or police department, get the information, hang up, and search online for the phone number of the organization they claim to be with to make sure it’s legitimate.