"Grandparent Scam" Hits Wicomico County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

"Grandparent Scam" Hits Wicomico County

Posted: 07/25/2017 12:40:00 -04:00 Updated:
(Photo Credit: MGN Online) (Photo Credit: MGN Online)

WICOMICO COUNTY, Md. -- The Wicomico County Sheriff's Office is warning residents of two scams sweeping through the county, one commonly known as the "grandparent scam."

Investigators say a resident was contacted by someone she believed was her granddaughter, claiming she had been arrested out of state and needed bail money. Following the instructions her alleged granddaughter gave her, the victim made arrangements to send money electronically using a pre-paid gift card in the amount of $2,000.00. The victim later discovered her granddaughter had not been arrested. Investigators found that the phone number used in the incident traced back to Western Canada. The sheriff's office attempted to contact the number, but was unsuccessful.

In a second incident, police say a resident told them she was making a sale online when a buyer expressed interest and sent a check with an average of almost one thousand dollars. The victim was instructed by the buyer to cash the check and to keep the remaining amount to send back to the buyer via an electronic wire transfer. After following the instructions, the seller learned the original check was a fake check, and not only was she out the original item that she shipped, but was also out money she sent to the scammer. During the investigation, police attempted to contact the telephone number provided by the buyer and was able to reach a man who spoke broken English. When the man learned he was speaking to police, the man replied “EXPLETIVE you” and hung up.

Police are reminding residents to be careful of these types of activities and selective when sending money, especially because these kinds of crimes are difficult to solve when many are originating outside of the country.

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