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Phone Scam Preys on Elderly PDF Print E-mail
Written by San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol   
Thursday, 27 September 2012 04:46

Police in the western San Fernando Valley are warning about a scam in which the perpetrators call senior citizens claiming to be a grandchild in need of help. Typically, the caller claims to have been in a car accident or arrested, and in need of money wired to an outof- state location, according to the LAPD's West Valley Division.

A Granada Hills grandmother received a similar call. She said she was encouraged by the caller to go to her bank and withdraw money for her grandchild, after receiving a call from her to say that she had traveled to another country and was in trouble and without money.

The local resident went to the bank and shared her concern with the bank teller who told her that it was a scam. "When I returned home, the person who claimed to be my granddaughter called again asking if I had wired the money. I told her my granddaughter is safe at home and I slammed down the phone."

She said she is embarrassed now to know that she almost fell for the ploy but is grateful to her bank teller. "I had never heard of people making calls like this. When you hear that it's your family member, your instinct is to do something fast. I know now that I should have called my family first."

She is now so cautious about her information and identity that she asked the San Fernando Valley Sun/El Sol not to print her name. "I want to help other people by telling them what almost happened to me, but I'm nervous. I live alone and I don't know how they got my telephone number or knew that I was a senior citizen who might fall for such an act."

Police said people should never send money or provide a caller with any personal information.

Investigators said anyone who receives such a call should immediately call their grandchild or other relative and then report the call to police.

Last Updated on Thursday, 27 September 2012 04:47