There's a sneaky scam making its rounds in Illinois, and it's targeting our dear grandparents. The FBI's Springfield office recently issued a warning about this troubling trend known as the "grandparent scam."

Here's How The Grandparent Scam Works

Someone receives a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild or a close relative. They sound desperate and claim to be in serious trouble.

Another variation of the scam is when the fraudster says they've been in an accident involving a pregnant woman, and now the police have detained them. It's enough to make any caring grandparent's heart skip a beat.


Here's Where The Trouble Starts

After the initial distressing call, you receive another one from someone claiming to be an attorney. They explain that your grandchild needs money to secure their release, but there's a twist: they can't discuss the case further due to a supposed gag order.

To make things even more convincing, they arrange for an in-person pickup of the money, sending a money mule to your doorstep.

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Faux Caller I.D.

Scammers have figured out how to manipulate technology to make their calls appear to be coming from someone you know.

Don't blindly trust those familiar numbers on your screen. Take a moment to double-check the caller's identity through other means before divulging any sensitive information or sending money.

How To Protect Ourselves and Loved Ones From These Scammers?

It starts with information shared online. Those sneaky scammers can gather personal details from social media platforms and dating sites to make their deceit more believable.

So, be mindful of what you post and ensure you're not unknowingly providing ammunition for these con artists.


Don't Rush To Meet Their Demands

If you get a call demanding immediate action and requesting money for a distressed family member, reach out to your loved ones directly or contact another family member to confirm the story. It's always better to be safe than sorry.

WCIA reminds us to never give out personal and identifiable information or money to someone we've only communicated with over the phone or online.

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Spread The Word and Keep Your Loved Ones Informed

Be extra cautious, especially when dealing with strangers or unexpected requests for money. It's better to be a bit skeptical than to fall victim to these heartless schemes.

Anyone who was either a victim of the grandparent scam themselves or whose family member was, can contact the FBI Springfield Office at 217-522-9675.

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