A Mukilteo resident arrived at the Mukilteo Police Department on August 22, 2020 to report that they were the victim of a scam. The resident reported losing $9,000 after they received a phone call from someone claiming he was their “grandson.”
On August 20, 2020, the victim spoke with their “grandson” and he stated that he was arrested and needed money to bond out of jail. The victim contacted their “grandson’s” attorney and arrangements were made for the victim to wire $9,000 to the attorney. The victim only became suspicious of the circumstances after the attorney called again to ask for more money. The victim ended up calling their real grandson who confirmed he had not been arrested and that it appeared the victim had been scammed.
This “grandparent” scam preys upon the elderly and is commonly perpetrated by a person alleging to be a young family member in financial need. The amount of money taken per incident is often much higher than the average scam, often due to a story that pulls at the victims heart strings and causes them to send a large amount of cash to help a loved one in need. These high dollar thefts come at great costs to the victims as they live on fixed incomes and often have little savings. In this instance, the victim saved up $9,000 to repair their roof, which will now have to be postponed until funds can be saved once again.
Community members are encouraged to always verify the source of any call when contacted for money. Calling and verifying with the family member or the law enforcement agency that is supposedly involved is a good start. Victims can also report the scam to the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov.
For more information about the Mukilteo Police Department or Fraud Protection contact Crime Prevention Officer Myron Travis at 425.328.6512 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.