ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Anchorage police are warning people not to be taken in by scammers calling to claim that their grandchildren have been involved in out-of-state traffic accidents, a twist that adds urgency to an existing scheme.
APD spokesperson Lt. Dave Parker says police are receiving complaints about the recent revision to the so-called “grandparent scam,” in which grandparents are asked to send money to an “attorney” to give the request more legitimacy than the original scam.
“Usually the scammer calls a grandparent and tells them that he is from an out of state police agency and the grandparent needs to send money to get their grandchild out of jail,” Parker wrote in a Wednesday statement. “Scammers have gone so far as to have grandchild sounding associates speak to the grandparent on the phone in order to convince them of the legitimacy of the request.”
Parker says it’s easy for scammers to find young people’s grandparents and target them for calls, especially on social media websites. The callers are skilled at making people believe their grandchildren are in genuine danger, a key element of the scam’s success in bilking grandparents out of millions of dollars.