Scammers prey on grandparents

When your grandson calls to tell you he needs money to get out of a Mexican prison, he’s in a hurry.

But while it’s possible that a young relative is in legal trouble in a foreign country and really doesn’t want to stay there any longer than necessary… in most cases, it’s a scam.

According to police, it is best to get some more information before sending out hundreds or thousands of dollars to somewhere.

A Warren County resident recently received that kind of scam phone call. The grandmother, worried about her grandson, was ready to help. But first she called the grandson’s parents.

The scammer is hoping to set off panic in the victim.

“Common sense is the key to this scam,” City of Warren Police Sgt. Brandon Deppen said. “The scammer is playing on the emotion of the victim to respond quickly without doing some research first.”

“It would be normal to want to help your grandson get out of jail in another country, but you must first ask the all important question, ‘Is my grandson in Mexico?'” Deppen said. “Call the parents of the grandson to verify that he is or may be in Mexico.”

It is unlikely that someone imprisoned in a foreign land will be unable to call again, or seek aid from another family member.

“Finally I do not know of any law enforcement agency which only gives you one phone call,” Deppen said. “If they were placed in jail they would have the opportunity to call collect again or contact their embassy in that country.”