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Yates Sheriff warns of “grandparent scam”

Yates County Sheriff Ron Spike reports that some local seniors have reported receiving calls which relate to a telemarketing scheme to defraud senior citizens. The FBI has confirmed that criminal organizations operating out of Dominican Republic (DR) are using the “Grandparent Scheme” in which they purport to be the victim’s grandchild detained by the police in the DR and are in need of financial assistance to return to the USA. The schemers provide a seemingly legitimate telephone number to call the US Embassy in DR, however the number calls the schemers who advise the victim how much money they need to send for their grandchild’s release via the following methods:Western Union or Money Gram wire transfer;Fed Ex or UPS by mailing one hundred dollar bills to the DR; andReloadable debit cards such as a Green Dot Money Pak.Scammed victims are typically contacted multiple times for additional money requests. Please be aware of this “Grandparent fraud scheme” and contact immediate family and local law enforcement if receive a call from someone purporting to be a grandchild needing money in a foreign country.

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