INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A popular phone scam has been circulating central Indiana for a few months and now the attorney general’s office has a message for Hoosiers.
Last week, 24-Hour News 8 reported some good news: a Johnson County woman got her money back after a scammer tricked her into buying $4,500 in gift cards.
24-Hour News 8 got a few more calls from people saying the same thing happened to them or one of their family members. So we wanted to ask the Indiana Attorney General’s office for an answer.
The attorney general’s office calls these type of scams “Grandparent scams.” The way it works is someone will call the home pretending to be a grandchild or family member in trouble. Then they will ask for money quickly and tell the victim to buy gift cards or to send cash to a specific person or location. Often times the grandparent or victim is so worried about their family member they don’t realize it’s a scam.
Betsy Isenberg from the attorney general’s office says people need to take the extra step and verify with other family members.
“Ask them questions that they’re only going to know the answers to,” said Isenberg. “They’re trying to pretend to be someone that they are not, so if you ask them questions like ‘where were we the last time I saw you?’, or ‘Where did you go to elementary school?’ things like that most of the time the scammer isn’t going to know the answers to those type of questions and you’ll be able to figure out that that’s not your grandchild.”
As of the end of April this year the AG’s office has received 130 Complaints. They say it’s something they see a spike in the beginning of the year. There has been a spike over the first four months of this year over the first four months of 2016.
Best thing for people to do is to stop and think before acting. Also check your social media privacy settings which are really important. If you think you’ve been scammed or were close to it Call the AG’s office.