by Chris Waring
On 9-9-17 a scam artist nearly scammed one of our residents out of $9,000. The scam is an old one that we have written about before. It starts with a phone call saying the person is a lawyer representing your grandchild. They put a person on the phone who is crying and upset and they say something like grandma/grandpa I need help I’ve been arrested. Our resident being a caring and loving grandma/grandpa says, “Billy is that you.” He says yes and it may not sound like him since he broke his nose in a car accident and that he needs a large sum of money to post bail, retain a lawyer and get a plane ticket home. The “grandchild” then pleads with you not to tell his mom and dad and that he will pay you back as soon as he can.
So being the loving, caring grandparent you are you wire, mail or in some way send this money and never hear from them again. Turns out your grandchild was never arrested nor in any trouble. It is virtually impossible to recover this money once they get it in their hands. Our local victim got suspicious after sending $9,000 in cash to the scammers. Luckily it was sent on a Friday and our resident notified our police department on Saturday, we then contacted postal inspectors to stop the delivery from happening on Monday.
There are multitudes of different scams. Please don’t fall for them. If it sounds wrong or if you’re not sure ask someone, anyone (police, clergy, friend, family member) before you send or wire money to a stranger. Remember the IRS will NEVER cold call you to make a settlement offer.
The Arkansas Attorney General has a website where individuals, churches or clubs can get a lot of valuable information and brochures they can share with their members. I just ordered a bunch of these that hopefully will be here next week so that we can prevent our residents from being taken advantage of.