S.D. AG issues alert about grandparent scam

By Bryan Cohen | May 1, 2013

PIERRE, S.D. (Legal Newsline) - South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley issued a consumer alert Wednesday warning South Dakota seniors to be cautious of telephone calls requesting money for family members.

Jackley's Consumer Protection Division has received multiple complaints from seniors receiving phone calls from a person who claims to be a grandchild or other family member in need of money.

In the reoccurring scam, a caller pretends to be a grandchild and uses a sense of urgency and a plea for help to ask for a wire transfer. The scam artists look for answers from the victim that will help them in the scam and the callers claim they will get in trouble with their parents if the victim tells anybody about the call.

If the scam works as planned, the victim will wire money to the account number provided by the scammer. By the time the senior realizes what happened, the money is likely long gone and not recoverable.

Because national chain stores for wire transfers are getting wise to the scams and asking the right questions to keep them from happening, the scam artists are avoiding the national chains. The scammers are directing victims to payday loan operations that may not be a familiar with these sorts of scams.

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