ONONDAGA COUNTY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Multiple reports of fraud and scams in Onondaga County have been reported to the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police, and all involve the “grandparent scam.”
The “grandparent scam” is when an unknown person calls elderly victims saying that their daughter is with a police officer or attorney and that “she was in an accident and is at fault.” They then put a hysterical woman on the phone and make the victims believe it’s their daughter so they will give the scammers thousands of dollars for “her bail.”
According to Jack Keller, Public Information Officer at New York State Police (NYSP), on Tuesday, May 9, NYSP received two reports of the “grandparent scam” and the Sheriff’s Office received one. Some of the reports involved victims aged 73 years old and 82 years old, and they came from the Town of Lysander, Clay and Salina.
In the scam, after asking for thousands of dollars for the daughter’s bail, they convince the victim to go to the bank to withdraw the money. Once the victim does, they call the scammer, telling them they have the money and ask where they need to bring it.
In the reported cases, the scammers are “too nice” and tell the victims they will come to pick up the money, all the victims need to do is put it in a box and wait for the scammer “employee to pick it up.”
“The person picking up the money is an Uber driver, most likely unwittingly, and in one case even let the victim take a photo of him because he most likely has no idea what’s going on and thinks he is just doing his job,” said Keller.
Hours later, they think about what just happened and contact their actual daughter and realize it was a scam and are too embarrassed to contact the police.
In Skaneateles, the Village of Skaneateles Police Chief Scott Heggelke said they had two incidents of the “grandparents scam” where the scammer used the typical scenario except involved a story about a grandson being pulled over and now jailed.
The scammer asked for $12,000 and $20,000 respectively and then directed the victims to meet at a local bail bond company.
“Fortunately, no one lost any money. One complainant was a Skaneateles resident and the other was told that the grandson was involved in an incident in Skaneateles,” said Skaneateles Police Chief Heggelke.
The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police want you to be aware of this scam and to be careful to not fall for it.