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Elderly couple scammed out of $12,000

MSP 04172021
Posted at 5:12 PM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 17:27:43-05

VAN BUREN, Mich. — Grandparents are the target of scammers in an increase of fraud in Southwest Michigan according to Michigan State Police (MSP).

Last week a Van Buren couple received a phone call from someone who claimed to be their granddaughter. This person was impersonating the granddaughter, telling the couple she had been arrested after a traffic accident.

The impersonator said they needed to contact her friend’s father who is a lawyer. The couple contacted the “lawyer” who advised them their granddaughter was in serious trouble and to pay $12,000 to bail her out. The couple agreed paying the full amount of bail in cash.

After paying the $12,000 the were contacted the following day by the lawyer who claimed they needed to pay an additional $14,000. Luckily, the real granddaughter showed up and explained to her grandparents that they’d been scammed.

Michigan State Police urges everyone to be cautious of phone calls, emails or other communication that appears to be fraudulent especially those claiming to be from the Treasury Department or someone offering COVID stimulus payments.

Any suspicious activity can be reported to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). For those who have lost money to a phone scam or have information about the company or scammer who called you, report it to the FTC as well.