It's back!  And, it's making a whole new round of victims across the country and here locally in the Twin Ports.

The Superior Police Department is urging Northlanders not to fall victim to the ever-popular Grandparent Scam.  The law enforcement agency shares that it's been getting an "increase in calls" regarding this particular phone scam and they want to make sure that awareness of the issue is there to make sure no one gets taken advantage of.

In a post on their social media page, the Superior Police detail the mechanics of the phone scam and how to recognize it.  They also offer some suggestions on what to do in the event you're placed in that position as well.

First - here's how it works.  The potential scammers usually target older people.  When the person answers, the scammer quickly goes into their mode of operation, claiming to be the persons grandchild, that they're in trouble, and they need money right away to diffuse the situation.  "The scammer intentionally moves fast to keep the 'grandparent' confused".

Tero Vesalainen
Tero Vesalainen

Here are some tell-tale warning signs that a phone call is part of the Grandparent Scam:

  • The person on the other end of the phone claims to be your grandchild
  • The caller asks you to send money immediately
  • Many times the call comes in the evening, late at night, or even in the middle of the night - all under the guise of "confusing" the potential victim more

If you have received a phone call and you have reason to suspect that the person on the other end of the phone is someone you don't know - and you suspect them of trying to scam you, here are some tips from the Superior Police Department:

  • Don't give out any information about yourself
  • Ask questions someone else is unlikely to be able to answer (i.e. the name of your grandchild, where they live, what their favorite sport is, what extra-curricular activities do they like to do)
  • Tell the caller you'll call them right back; then call your grandchilds' usual phone number
  • Contact other family members to see if they can verify the story

More than anything, trust your instincts.  Never give out personal information about yourself.  Try to put the caller you suspect is a scammer on the defensive - it's okay; they're trying to scam you - don't be concerned about 'hurt feelings'.  And above all - hang up and call 911.

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