Monday, September 24, 2012

Scams appear convincing. That’s why they often work. Be wary, avoid becoming a victim

By: Cheryel Carpenter, APD release
The Arlington Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit recently received a fraud report involving a money wiring scam. The victim was swindled out of more than $30,000, which was part of his life savings.
You may wonder, ‘how this could happen?’ The suspects took advantage of the victim by making the scam convincing and personal. The Arlington Police Department wants to make you aware of this scam so you won’t fall victim to this type of fraud.
It all started with a simple phone call. The caller was from a man who identified himself as his grandson. The suspect pleaded to the grandfather to help him get out of jail. He stated that his lawyer would contact him shortly to discuss where he could wire bail money.
Because the caller knew specific names, the grandfather believed his grandson needed his financial help.
Shortly after, a man who identified himself as an attorney from another city contacted the grandfather. The man claiming to be a lawyer said that the grandson was involved in an accident and he would need a certain amount of money wired to him in order to bail him out of a county jail. The attorney made the information so believable that the victim immediately went to a money wiring business location and sent the criminals the money.
The following day, the victim received another telephone call from the attorney stating that the other person involved in the vehicle accident wanted to file suit against his grandson. The victim was assured that his grandson would not be sued if he paid a settlement. The victim wanted to help his grandson so he went to his bank and wired the large amount from his account to the location provided.
The next day, the grandfather’s daughter called him after noticing a substantial amount of money missing from his bank account. The grandfather told her about the phone calls he received. She informed him that his grandson was okay and he was neither in jail nor involved in an auto accident. The victim immediately contacted our department to make a police report.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who want to take advantage of your compassion. In this case, the grandfather was victimized and the suspect got the money he requested.
Before you wire money, the Arlington Police Department suggests you do the following:
  • Always verify and confirm who is on the other end of the phone or computer before you send funds.
  • Always confirm the legitimacy of the information through family members
  • Be suspicious of anyone asking for large sums of money

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