Grandparent Scam Hits Buffalo Grove Woman Who Sent Money to Man Who Said Grandson Was in Jail

Buffalo Grove police responded about 4:00 Saturday to a residence in Buffalo Grove for a fraudulent activity report. A woman received a phone call from a man that said her grandson was in jail and needed $2,900 to get out of jail. The woman sent the offender $2,900. The incident turned out to be a fraud.

The scam is known as the ‘Grandparent Scam’ or the ‘Emergency Scam.’

Tips to protect against this the ‘Grandparent Scam’:

• Don’t fill in the blanks for the caller: If the scammer asks a leading question “Hello grandma; do you know who this is?” and he is provided with a name, he might go with that name. Ask a lot of questions, and those questions that have answers only your family should know: “Which grandson has been arrested this time?” You’ll learn quickly enough if it’s a con artist.

• Do whatever is necessary to obtain and confirm your relative’s whereabouts. Get off the phone as soon as possible and call your grandchild’s parents or your grandchild’s home, school or work to verify what you’ve been told.

• Don’t wire money. If a caller asks for your bank account number or urges you to wire money for any reason, it’s most likely a scam. Cons prefer wire transfers because they are fast, and funds can be picked up easily and just about anywhere.

If you are victim of a scam, make note of the caller ID number — if available — and report the incident to the police by calling 9-1-1. Most likely the call from the offender is blocked and shown as an ‘Unknown Caller.” Keep in mind that it is possible to fake a caller ID number — a procedure known as spoofing caller ID.

If you are a victim of this scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov, 877-382-4357 (877-FTC-HELP).