The Scottsdale Police department has recently received complaints about a prolific telephone scam that preys on the elderly. The scam is known among law enforcement circles as the "Grandma Scam". There are many variants on this scheme, but the basic ploy is that a younger sounding caller telephones an elderly male or female and claims to be their grandson or granddaughter in need of assistance. Usually, the scammer says that they are in jail in a foreign country and need money wired to them for legal assistance. The scammer tells the victim not to call any other family members because they would be embarrassed if anyone found out they were in jail. Then, the caller asks the victim to wire money to help with legal fees to get them out of jail. Some cases involve a second phone call from someone identifying themselves as an attorney or embassy staff. The story is never true and the callers are always after your money. If the victim falls for the scam, they are asked to wire money to a foreign address. Once this is done, the money is most likely lost, as local law enforcement resources are limited in how much investigation they can do when foreign money transfers are involved.
Here's some advise to share with friends and family:
NEVER wire-transfer money to anyone for any reason.
ALWAYS check with family members to verify any claims of misfortune requiring money to fix.
ALWAYS report suspicious or fraudulent solicitations to your local police.