Hubbard police warn residents of “grandparent scam”


Staff report

HUBBARD

Township police are asking residents to be wary of so-called “grandparent scams.”

A township woman reported this week she lost $4,500 after receiving a phone call saying her grandson was in jail and needed money to make bail.

The woman followed the caller’s instructions and went to Walmart in Liberty to buy $4,500 in iTunes gift cards. She then called the suspect back and, following his instructions, read him the redemption codes from the cards, police reported.

It only took the scammer 12 minutes to redeem the value of the cards, according to iTunes records reviewed by police.

Police say this is the second $4,500 “grandparent scam” reported in the township this year. Police also say it will be difficult to identify the scammer because the transaction occurred overseas.

The department warns that such scams “prey on the emotions of the elderly.” Officials advise potential targets of theses scams to ask the caller to provide information, such as the name of a pet, only the real grandchild would know.

Township police ask residents to remember the following:

You cannot “win” a lottery you didn’t enter.

If you are told to keep what you are doing a secret, something is wrong and it is a scam.

If you are asked to buy gift cards such as iTunes and call someone back with the numbers, it is a scam.

If you are asked to deposit a check and wire the balance or buy cash cards for someone, it is a scam; do not do it.

You can report a scam to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office by calling 1-800-282-0515.

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