FBI warns grandparents to be aware of scam

FBI warns grandparents to be aware of scam

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - "I think it's a grandparent's worst nightmare," said Jim Trease of Gautier.

Trease, that nightmare was getting a call from someone who claimed to be his grandson. The caller said he was in a car wreck, arrested for DUI and needed $1,800 to get out of jail.

"For people who have grandchildren, boy that is a stab in the heart for somebody to call you and tell you that they need money," said Trease. "Because you are ready to give it in a heartbeat."

The same thing happened to a Gulfport grandmother. A man claiming to be her grandson said he was in an Oklahoma jail and needed $1,400. He then passed the phone to someone who claimed to be his lawyer.

"He said I'm going in two hours before the judge, and if you don't have the money wired by then he'll have to spend 30 days in jail," said the grandmother.

Both seniors were targets of the grandparent scam. FBI Public Information Officer Jason Pack says it isn't limited to just over the phone. Grandparents are also being asked for money via social media.

"Even in Mississippi we've seen hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses where people are trusting, wanting to do the right thing, or think their kids are in trouble will go somewhere and wire money," said Pack.

Pack advises people to look into any suspicious call asking for money.

"If somebody's in trouble, an extra five or ten minutes invested into checking it out won't make that big of a difference if the situation is real," said Pack.

Neither of the people who spoke with WLOX fell for the trick, but they did learn to be on their guard.

"If we're not paying attention, we can lose some serious money very fast and you will never ever find it," said Trease.

For more information on what you should do if you're suspicious of grandparents scam, click here.

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