The San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office is warning the public of a scam that has been reported by several local law enforcement agencies.
The so-called “grandparent scam,” which targets elderly people, involves a call from someone claiming to be a grandchild who's having an emergency.
The caller says they need money — sent by wire transfer — to help them out of a dire situation, such as posting bail to get out of jail in a foreign country.
Recently, a scammer called a local woman, pretending to be her granddaughter, and said she was in a Dominican Republic jail and needed money.
The female caller passed the phone to a man who said he was a police officer and gave the address of a local Western Union branch where the grandmother could wire the money.
The concerned grandmother wired $5,082, and the scammers then said the money had been received but too late, and they’d need more to get her out of jail.
The local grandmother became suspicious and contacted authorities to learn her granddaughter was safe in the U.S. and that the call was a scam.
The local District Attorney's Office warns residents not to wire money to people they don’t know (in the U.S. or in a foreign country); people claiming to be a relative; someone who says wire transfer is the only form of payment acceptable; someone who asks to deposit a check and send some of the money back.
For more information, contact the District Attorney's Office Economic Crime Unit at 781-5896.