FBI agents held a meeting in Walnut Creek on Tuesday at a senior center warning about criminals who employ the “Grandparent Scam,” by tricking unsuspecting older folks into sending money over the phone.
FBI special agent David Strange spoke to residents of the Rossmoor retirement community educating them that there are some “not so nice people out there trying to take advantage of their generosity and ultimately their hard earned savings.”
The FBI estimates that over the past five years: Phone scams have pilfered $5 billion from people in the United States. And in recent years, the FBI said, criminals have deployed the “Grandparent Scam.” That’s where the bad guy notices a grandson has posted on Facebook that he's in Mexico. Then the suspect calls the grandparents and tricks them into sending money to help their grandson who was “hurt in a car accident south of the border,” or some story like that.
The FBI had simple takeaway: If you don't know the other person on the line and they ask for money, do not send them anything.
If you are scammed, the FBI suggests you call your local police and state consumer agency. And if you are the victim of an email scam, file a report at the Internet Crime Complaint Center.