The following crime alert is directed towards our senior residents. Our seniors should be aware of a common phone scam that is occurring on a more regular basis. The scam begins with a phone call in which the caller on the other end of the line is in a frantic state and speaking fast. The caller begins the conversation by stating ďgrandma/grandpa itís me, Iím in trouble, Iíve been arrested in Barcelona, Spain (or usually some foreign country) and I need you to go to the nearest Western Union and wire me some money so that I may post bailĒ. The caller will continue to talk fast and indicate that he/she has limited time to speak. The caller will continue to use the phrase of ďgrandma/grandpa please help meĒ. The caller wants you to respond by saying the name of your grandchild. The caller will also know the extra costs that will be incurred for wiring money overseas. The caller will also provide you with the nearest Western Union locations (Rite Aid and K-mart in the Bridgeville area). At times the caller will advise the person he/she calls not to go to the local police because if the authorities that have him/her in custody find out, they will be beaten.
Our investigations have determined that some of the calls have been generated from Canada . In one instance the destination for the money wiring was Barcelona , Spain . It is unknown how these people are obtaining the phone numbers of our victims.
Some helpful tips to avoid scams would include limiting the amount of personal information you release. Certain retailers will ask for your phone number when you make a purchase. Donít give it to them, it is not required. Shred any documents that may contain personal information. Do not give any personal information over the phone to anyone.
Remember, the people committing these scams are professionals. They will tug at your heart strings to get what they want. If you receive this type of phone call, stay calm, use common sense, never give any personal information, and donít mention the name of your grandson/granddaughter. Notify the Police immediately.
Chief Chad King