Police warn of grandparent scam after woman loses nearly $11,000
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WCHS/WVAH) —
The Charleston Police Department is warning the public of a grandparent scam after they say an elderly woman was scammed out of about $11,000.
Part of the funds were sent via Western Union to the Dominican Republic and part had been sent via U.S. Postal Service in the form of cash to Corona in Queens, N.Y., a news release from Charleston police said. The funds will be difficult to recover since the recipient was outside of the United States and possibly used false names.
Police said this happened Jan. 18.
Police define a grandparent scam as a phone call from someone posing as a grandchild who is supposedly out of town and in a desperate situation. The caller may claim to be locked in jail, have had a car accident or are in need of medical treatment. They will ask for money to be wired to them, the release said.
Scammers also have used social media to obtain family information to use or pose as someone else.
Police advise the public to be aware of these scams and if someone asks for money through social media or by cell phone, reach out to the family member whom the caller is posing as.