Scam artists prey on unsuspecting victims, most often targeting the most vulnerable, such as the elderly or worried relatives. But these scams can cost victims up to thousands of dollars.
Glendora Police has released a list of five most common scams that continue to be a problem in Glendora. Local authorities urge residents to arm themselves with awareness to protect themselves and their families from falling victim to a scam artist.
The “Grandpa/Grandma” Scam
The telephone rings, and it’s your grandson who tells you that he’s in another country and in deep trouble. He has been arrested and detained by foreign police. You might not recognize the voice, but the caller is persistent, desperate and, after all, he knows your grandson’s name.
Your grandson even has you speak to someone who claims to be a police officer in the country where your grandson is detained. Your grandson tells you he needs money to post bail and he wants you to send the money via wire transfer, such as Western Union or MoneyGram.
It’s only after you have sent the money do you realize your grandson is not out of the country, nor in any kind of trouble.
The following scenario is a common scam, usually involving a telephone call or even an e-mail from someone claiming to be a relative – usually a grandson. The person tells you he’s in an urgent situation in another country and desperately needs you to send him money.
Grandpa/Grandma scams target the elderly, with several cases occurring in Glendora. In one case, . He told the couple he had been arrested on a DUI in Mexico and needed the money to post bail.
Glendora Police warn residents to never send money without verifying the situation with other family members and notifying police first.
It’s hard to believe that anyone would use 9/11 to perpetrate a scam, but the following common scam does just that.
A person approaches you and tells you that he has received a settlement from 9/11. The person has a foreign accent and shows you cash from the settlement. However, the person also tells you he is not a U.S. citizen. He tells you he needs your help in disbursing the money to a “good cause” since they can’t bring the money to their home country, or it will be confiscated. The person asks you to withdraw money from the bank to show good faith.
But when the person has left, you realize he has switched the money you have just withdrawn with cut paper.
In other similar scams, the suspect will use another ruse, such as having won money in the lottery or having received an inheritance. But in every case the suspect will try to have you withdraw money from the bank to show “good faith.” But this “good faith” nearly cost an elderly man $9,000, when he was persuaded to
Listing Items for Sale on the Internet
A common scam on Internet sites such as Craigslist and eBay involves the suspect purchasing an item you have listed for sale. The person will send you a money order for more money than the asking price of the item. The suspect will explain that the extra money is for shipping or an accounting mistake.
The supposed buyer will ask you to cash the money order and forward the excess money to them or a third party.
However, you later learn the money order is fraudulent and all of the money sent was actually your own money that you withdrew from the bank and sent to the suspect.
Secret Shopper Scam
In this Internet scam, you answer an online ad as a “secret shopper” for what appears to be a legitimate business. They will ask for a resume, employment application, and references. You receive your first shopping assignment along with a money order.
You are asked to cash the money order and shop at a local store.
You then are asked to send the remaining money, minus your commission, via a wire transfer. But the money order that was sent is fraudulent, your money withdrawn and sent to the fake business.
The victim is not notified by the bank for several days after the transactions have gone through.
Glendora has been hit in the past with a string of distraction burglaries, usually targeting elderly residents.
Glendora Police warn residents to always be wary of unexpected people coming to the front door.
If the person claims to be a utility worker, make sure they have the appropriate identification. If they claim to be from a business, always verify they work for a legitimate company. However, do not call the number the person at the door provides.
According to Glendora Police, there have been several instances where suspects distract the homeowner, while another person enters the home to steal items from within the house.
earlier this year, and in one case, a little girl was used as part of a ruse to steal $1,700 worth in cash and valuables from an elderly woman.
- Adapted from a Glendora Police press release