LEHIGHTON, CARBON COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A warning is out about a swindle circulating in the Poconos called, ‘The Grandparent Scam.’
State police spoke to 28/22 News about ways scammers are trying to get your money and how you can avoid falling victim.
Whether it’s an unknown caller or a local number not everybody dialing your phone number has good intentions.
“The scammers will call you and they will say that typically, a grandchild, a grandson, or grandaughter’s in trouble, they got arrested, they need bail money,” said Trooper Anthony Petroski the public information officer for Troop N.
It’s called the ‘Grandparent Scam’, also known as the ‘loved one scam.’
Sometimes even using specific names state police say those on the other line will use pressure often saying ‘Don’t talk to anyone about this, I’m sure it would be embarrassing to your family.’
The scammer would either ask you to buy a gift card and drop it off at a gas station, or put cash in an envelope and then put it inside your mailbox.
That money to then be used to supposedly bail out your loved one.
“I can promise you, this is happening way too much, we have way too many victims of this. It is 100 percent a scam, don’t fall for it,” Trooper Petroski added.
It’s a ruse that multiple people fell victim to over the weekend in Carbon Count. Now state police are working to spread awareness about how scammers are using technology to their advantage.
“They can generate fake emails so if you click on a link, it takes you somewhere else where you can even get malware or a virus downloaded on your device. They can extract your credit card information, you know it’s too easy for them to use technology in a horrible manner,” Trooper Petroski continued.
Trooper Petroski says tips to make sure you don’t fall for this scam include:
- Immediately hang up and call your loved one directly to see if they’re in trouble.
- Do not give any kind of personal, sensitive information over the phone.
- Never place money in your mailbox or pay someone with a gift card as this is widely used in scams.
“They’re out trying to take everything you’ve worked for and we are trying to stop that before it happens,” says Trooper Petroski.
If you have fallen victim to the grandparent scam in Carbon County, you’re urged to contact the Lehighton State Police Barracks.
State police officials say these kinds of scam calls have grown to be so popular that you’re only asked to report it if you fall victim to it.
They want to remind everyone that if you don’t recognize a number calling you it’s safest just to not answer it.
Sydney Kostus live at 6:30 a.m.