Columbia police: Be wary of 'grandparent scam'

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 | 1:07 p.m. CDT; updated 6:38 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, November 2, 2010

COLUMBIA — The Canadian police most likely have not arrested your family member.

That was the message sent out by the Columbia Police Department on Tuesday following multiple reports of fraud.

A 78-year-old woman and an 87-year-old woman were both contacted by men claiming to be their grandsons and saying they were being held in a Canadian jail and would be sent to the "penitentiary" if the women did not wire them money, according to a department news release.

During the first incident, Oct. 14, the "grandson" called and said he had been arrested. Another man, claiming to be a law enforcement officer, then told the woman to withdraw $5,500 from banks at two different HyVees and arrange a money transfer.

"Instead, she alerted police, who ascertained that her grandson was fine, at work and not in Canada, nor had he been arrested," the release stated.

The second report was Nov. 2. Again, a man claimed to be the woman's grandson before a second man came on the phone and told her to go to Western Union and send $2,805.

"She was told to call a phone number with the receipt number," the release stated. "Instead, she called her grandson, who was fine; and then she called police."

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Adrian McBride November 2, 2010 | 3:10 p.m.

Good job on behalf of the two ladies who were smarter than the crooks trying to pull this scam. Thank you to the CPD and the Missourian for informing the consumers about this trick. Anytime you have the sense that something does not feel right, alert the CPD or the Better Business Bureau for help.

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