Michigan residents should be aware of a spike in phone-call scams in which grandparents are being targeted to give cash, supposedly to help grandchildren who are in trouble, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette warned Friday.
According to the warning, there has been a spike in the number of phone-call scams targeting grandparents in the last two weeks. The money lost has ranged from $1,000 to $5,000 in the most recent cases.
The warning comes on the heels of an 86-year-old St. Clair Shores woman who was bilked out of $15,800 between March 24 and March 30. The scam was stopped during her most recent attempt to transfer $72,000 to a Philippines bank account.
In many instances, the caller is telling the victim that a grandchild is far away, often out of the country, and needs cash. The caller also tells the grandparent that the grandchild wants the request for the cash kept a secret, according to the warning.
Schuette warned residents to never give out personal financial information to callers, no matter who that person claims to be.
Anyone who has been contacted is urged to file a complaint with the attorney general's office. The complaint should be filed under "grandparent scam." Concerned residents can contact the attorney general's Consumer Protection Division toll-free by calling 877-765-8388.
At least two Grosse Pointe Woods residents have reported such situations. Both cases were months ago and in at least one of the cases the resident identified it as suspicious and did not give any cash. , which she recognized he was not. He told her he needed $2,000 because he was in England and was fined for poaching animals. She tried to get as much information from the caller as she could before she hung up and then called police.