Butler County Sheriff warns against 'grandparent' scam

Butler County Sheriff Richard K. Jones is warning about scams that are apparently targeting grandparents.

The Sheriff's Office has received three separate reports since July 19 from elderly residents of Wayne, Madison, and Milford Townships, who were all victims of similar scams involving their grandchildren.

While each case has a slightly different scam approach, the victims were all duped into wiring thousands of dollars to other countries (two to Mexico and one to Spain).  All the victims received more than one phone call for wire transfer requests.

One victim received a call from someone posing as her grandson (using the grandson's name), stating he had been involved in a car crash in Mexico, and needed money wired right away, since he did not have  insurance.  He requested "grandma" not to contact his parents.  Later, the same caller requested more money to get his passport back.

Another victim received a call from an unknown male calling himself by the grandson's name, indicating he needed money to get out of a Mexican hospital.

The other victim received a call indicating her grandson (using the appropriate name) had been arrested and was in jail in a foreign country and needed money for bail.

In all three cases, the scammer(s) somehow knew the appropriate names of the victims' grandchildren.  After receiving initial requested wire transfers, there were multiple attempts for additional wire transfers.  Unfortunately, these victims all wired money to foreign countries and are out thousands of dollars that they will not likely recover.

"It's a shame that grandparents are being cheated out of their hard-earned savings," said Sheriff Jones.

"It's natural for grandparents to do anything when they truly believe they are helping out their precious grandchildren," he said.  "Please don't fall for this type of scam.  Before ever wiring money to anyone trying to help a relative, make sure there is a definite, legitimate reason for the request.  Regardless of what the caller says, check with the parents, or anyone else you have to, before sending your money."

Copyright 2011 FOX19. All Rights Reserved.