Don't fall for this scam! - FOX10 News | WALA

Don't fall for this scam!

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Beware of telephone scams (Image: WALA-TV) Beware of telephone scams (Image: WALA-TV)

Grandparents need to be aware of a scam that exploits the love they have for their grandchildren, as well as their willingness to help them.

A FOX10 viewer said Sunday morning, he received a call from, what he described as, “a desperate sounding young man” claiming to be his grandson at Auburn saying he was in the Montgomery jail on DUI and assault charges and that soon he would receive a call from the “Public Defender”.  

A man claiming to be Public Defender Thomas Wilson said the man’s grandson was in jail on DUI and assault charges but could get him released by going to Walmart and sending $2,200.00 to an address in North Carolina. The man claiming to be Wilson gave a call back number and an address in “Cottage Hill, Alabama”, a city that does not exist.

The viewer said he immediately called his lawyer and his son who said his grandson came home from Auburn for the weekend; he had not been arrested and was not in the “Montgomery jail”.

The viewer also said he has spoken with three Mobile grandparents who said have been taken in by this scam, one sent $4,400.00, the other two sent $2,200.00 each.

The Federal Trade Commission says scammers often buy or steal information needed to pull of this kind of scam.  In 2015 alone, the FTC received more than 10,565 "family/friend impostor" fraud complaints.

The AARP suggests in a case like this, “If you ever get a call from or about a grandchild or any other relative in danger or trouble, and the immediate request is for cash, you need to pause, calm yourself, say you will have to consult another family member first, and hang up. Then check. If the emergency is by any chance real, you can still respond appropriately.”

In any event, call and report the attempted scam to local law enforcement.

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