The family member phone scam has been gaining popularity and racking up local victims during the holiday season. Con artists are scamming Wyoming grandparents out of thousands of dollars by posing as grandchildren in distress. According to the Wyoming Attorney General's Office, there has recently been a rise in the number of incidents using this type of scam.
The typical scam occurs when a grandparent receives a telephone call from someone who falsely identifies themselves as their grandchild and tries to persuade the grandparent to quickly wire money to get the grandchild out of a bind.
The supposed grandchild typically claims to be involved in some type of trouble overseas, from being arrested in an unfamiliar country to needing
emergency car repairs. The grandchild then asks the often elderly victim to immediately wire money to post bail or pay for medical treatment, car repairs or a return plane ticket - whatever the scam may be.
Sometimes the scammer receives hundreds, even thousands of dollars from the well-intentioned victim. Getting even more brazen, the scammers may even call back again several hours or days later asking for more money. The caller will tell the
grandparent not to call the grandchild’s parents, and not to talk to anyone about the matter.
If you receive a call like this, authorities recommend resisting the pressure to act quickly, and take steps to verify the status of your grandchild with another family member.