SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – A scam targeting grandparents is making the rounds in Shelby County right now. The prosecutor says grandparents in the area are getting calls from scammers posing as their grandchildren. They say it’s an emergency and they need money fast.
24-Hour News 8 spoke with one victim who lost $2,000. She said she would do anything to help her grandson and didn’t realize this was a scam until it was too late.
She said she thought her grandson was on the line telling her about a car accident he had just been in.
“He said that he had been injured slightly. His mouth had hit the steering wheel and he had some stitches in his mouth so his voice didn’t sound exactly the same,” said the victim.
The voice was similar enough where she was convinced she was talking to her 18-year-old grandson.
He said his lawyer would be calling her soon asking for money.
“He is our only grandson and we were willing to do just about anything to help him out,” said the victim.
When that second call came though, she followed the man’s directions and sent $2,000, only to find out this was a scam.
“They are calling people who are older, people who they know will have a nest egg, people who grew up in a generation where you trusted people. You didn’t have to worry about this kind of stuff. That’s who they are preying on,” said Brad Landwerlen, the prosecutor in Shelby County.
Landwerlen said scammers do their research. They know the names of the grandparents and their grandchildren. Sometimes they even know where they work and live, making calls very believable.
“Question, question, question. Do not send out money without finding out for sure,” said the victim.
Lendwerlen said he believes the scammers are getting personal information through spyware on computers. He suggests making sure your anti-virus software is up to date and says don’t open anything from senders you don’t know.