Posted by bernie lewis on February 2, 2012, 12:23 pm
Dear Wardens, |
We are writing to ask you to spread the word in your community about a new scam that has come to our attention targeting grandparents in the United States. The scam involves a grandparent receiving a distressed phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild. The supposed grandchild tells the grandparent that they are currently under arrest in a specified foreign country and need money to get out of jail, released from embassy custody, etc. The caller then has the grandparent speak with an “embassy official” who provides further information on the incident and specific instructions on where to send the money needed to resolve this problem. The scammers provide a call-back number and tell the grandparents to wire the money and call back as soon as it has been sent. Various call-back numbers have been provided and, once called, someone answers the phone claiming to be the operator at the U.S. Embassy in the specified country. The grandparent then gets put back in touch with the official they were speaking with before and informs them the money was sent.
To date, perpetrators of this scam have used Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Spain as the location for the distressed grandchild and country to send money. It is currently believed that they are probably only using social engineering to get the information out of the victims rather than Facebook or other online social media sites. In certain cases, the perpetrators are actually following up with victims that don’t send money. They call back a day or so later and pose as FBI agents from “Phone busters”. They compliment the victims on not falling for the scam and ask to know exactly what alerted them and caused them to not send the money.
You can learn more information about this and other international financial scams through the following State Department website:
Hopefully these scams will not touch members of your community while in Mexico or the U.S. but please disseminate information about these types of scams to your friends and neighbors to help ensure that this is the case.
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