SALISBURY, Md.- Law enforcement officials are warning people to beware of so-called "grandparent scams," in which fraudsters are impersonating a grandchild in distress in distress- and begging for case. One such scam targeted a Salisbury man, who police say gave nearly $4,000 to a person claiming to be his grandson.
The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office said that on Monday, a deputy met with the victim at his home where he learned that on Oct. 3, the victim was contacted by someone claiming to be his grandson. Police said the imposter then told the victim that he had been involved in an accident with a vehicle displaying diplomatic plates while driving under the influence. Investigators said the victim then spoke with someone who identified himself as his grandson's public defender and was told that if the victim wired $1,900, then his grandson could get out of jail.
The victim did as requested but police said he was soon recontacted by the "public defender" who advised that the wire was done incorrectly, that the first $1,900 would be mailed back to the victim and that it had to be resent. The victim then made a second wire transfer of $1,900, according to investigators.
The victim realized he had been scammed when he called his grandson a few days later to see how he made out during the ordeal. Upon finding out that someone had pretended to be his grandson, the victim contacted the Sheriff's Office. Police said the ongoing investigation into this incident has revealed that the calls originated from Canada and that money was wired to a location in the Caribbean.
The Sheriff's Office said citizens should be aware of these types of scams in which unscrupulous individuals prey on an individual's desire to help out their family members in distress. When being contacted by someone asking for money to be transferred, police advise that you make sure that you are absolutely certain where that money is going.