SPD warns of grandparent scam phone calls; best advice: just hang up

The Sequim Police Department has learned of an increase in the number of “grandparent scam” phone calls. The callers claim to be a grandchild (or other relative for that matter) who has been arrested or is otherwise in some sort of trouble and needs money to get them out of that trouble — for bail, to replace a lost airplane ticket to get them home or some other pretext.

Often the caller pretends to be in a foreign country, and sometimes, the caller professes to be a police officer who is calling on behalf of a relative who is in desperate need of bail money, etc. The public is advised to be cautious and to always contact the supposed grandchild’s parent or a sibling before complying with the caller’s request to send money. Never give any financial information, (card number, bank account number, etc.) to anyone over the phone unless you placed the call yourself and you know who you are calling.

If you receive a call that you suspect is a scam, hang up and report the call to the Sequim Police Department at 683-7227 so it can monitor trends. The Washington State Attorney General’s Office has set up an online blog where consumers also can report phone scams. Go to www.atg.wa.gov and search on phone scams.

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