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Editor's Voice: Your grandchild needs money? It may be a scam

Posted 1/28/14

The Internet has brought the world into our homes. It truly is a tremendous thing. Unfortunately, it has also brought more people who would steal from us into our lives.

Local police too often get reports of residents being scammed, usually for …

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Editor's Voice: Your grandchild needs money? It may be a scam

Posted

The Internet has brought the world into our homes. It truly is a tremendous thing. Unfortunately, it has also brought more people who would steal from us into our lives.

Local police too often get reports of residents being scammed, usually for thousands of dollars. It used to be the oldest e-mail trick in the book: Someone from another part of the planet needs help getting money out of a bank account and they’re turning to you, a perfect stranger. Or – stop us if you’ve heard this one before – you’ve won money in a lottery in another country, even though you never recall buying a ticket, and you must send a payment, for taxes or some fee to collect the winnings.

Lately the Grandparent Scam has made its way around the area. Lower Swatara Twp. police report that two elderly residents were scammed out of more than $6,000 recently by callers claiming to be their grandson.

One claimed he needed $1,800 to pay taxes on college financial aid before he could get access to it. Another claimed he was in an automobile accident in Mexico and needed $1,500 to get out of prison – then another $3,000 for additional bail and hospital bills.

With many of us posting personal information on the Internet, it’s easier for scammers to find things they can use to steal from us. Even a casual wish you posted on your grandchild’s Facebook page for a safe trip abroad, or a successful semester in college can be fodder used by shadowy, unscrupulous swindlers.

The victims of scams discovered through calls to relatives that their grandchildren were not in need of funds – that the callers were thieves. If you receive such calls, be sure to check with a relative to make sure the plea for help is legitimate.

Here is another good tip, from Craigslist: Never wire funds. Anyone who asks you to do so is likely a scammer.

    

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