Scammer claims loved one in jail needs Target gift cards

Scammer claims loved one in jail needs Target gift cards

By In Scam Alerts On December 2, 2016

On December 1, 2016, we received a complaint from an elderly resident who fell prey to the same scam we alerted our residents to on November 4, 2016.  A woman received a call from a man claiming to be her grandson’s lawyer.  The fake lawyer instructed her to purchase $4,500 in Target gift cards to get her grandson out of jail and to send them to him.

She complied.  She later called her grandson who told her he was not in jail and was fine.

This is a known scam that quite often targets elderly victims and preys upon their desire to help their family members.

ALWAYS be suspicious of anyone who demands payment in gift cards.

If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP

Learn more about this type of scam AT THIS LINK to the Federal Trade Commission Consumer Information Blog.