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Local Citizen's were victim of Telephone Scam


Scams in Cass County

Cass County Sheriff Wm. C. Brueggemann advised several citizens in Cass County have become victims of a fraud in the past several weeks, a fraud called the Parent or Grand Parent Scam.

The victim will get a phone call from someone pretending to be a son, daughter or grandchild. The victim may hear a crying voice and say dad, mom, grandma or grandpa, the person explains they were involved in an accident, and are being arrested, and they have lost their phone so was calling from a friend's phone. The voice will say they don't know how to explain everything, so they will have a friend (or person who claims to be a arresting Officer, Attorney, Doctor at a hospital or some other person) explain the circumstances.

The voice claiming to be an arresting Officer or an Attorney will advise the victim that their grandchild, son or daughter had ran a stop sign and had a accident, and the police found a large amount of drugs or weapons, and the grandchild, son or daughter will be arrested.

The first victim in Cass County withdrew $22,000.00 cash from their bank, and sent the cash to the address specified by the voice. The money was sent out of state by FedEx, to pay for their son not being arrested.  After the money was sent, the parent found the son was alright and did not make the phone call.

The second victim in Cass County withdrew $7,500.00 cash from their bank, and sent the money as instructed to an address out of state, through FedEx to pay for their granddaughter not to be arrested. After the money was sent, a family member found the family member was alright and never arrested.

The scammers are very good at what they do, they make the story very convincing and urgent. The scammers know how to get your fight-or-flight responses activated so your critical thinking faculties are not the way they are normally, acting upon the victim's emotions and sense of loyalty. It doesn't matter what your educational level is because it triggers something emotional. The victim may be told they are the only person trusted enough to help. As a parent, or grandparent, your first emotion is to help and come to the aid of your son, daughter, or grandchild, and as a parent or grandparent, you don't want to make a mistake in their family decisions.

The scammers are more sophisticated, making them more dangerous. The scammers are obtaining the victim's information by using social media to learn more about their victims through face book, twitter, instagram, etc.

If you get a telephone call like this, FIRST, hit the pause button on your natural inclination to panic. What people have to do is SLOW DOWN. RESIST THE PRESSURE TO ACT QUICKLY OR SECRETLY. Verify the person's identity by asking questions someone else couldn't possibly answer. Contact a family member of the person who supposedly called you. Get off of the phone and call your son, daughter or grandchild. They may answer the phone.

The other thing that's a dead giveaway is how scammers want you to get the money to them. If it is a wire transfer such as Western Union, or Money Gram, an overnight delivery service or courier (with Check or Cash), money order or a prepaid card or gift card, (in which the scammer as for you to read the numbers on the back of the card over the phone), DON'T DO IT. Remember, Court Systems don't accept gift cards.

How do you AVOID these swindles?   SIMPLY HANG UP. In a situation where someone is asking for money right now using fear, excitement, or sympathy, IT'S PROBLY A SCAM.

Examples of Common Phone Scams

  • Threatening calls from the IRS.
  • Technical support calls.
  • Fake charity appeals.
  • Lottery scams.
  • Family members in peril.
  • Bank fraud calls.
  • Insurance, health care and debt scams.
  • Website password requests.
Crime Tip Hotline  800-527-3699 or submit via Email