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'Grandma Scam' Reported in Spring Lake

Caller claims to be grandson in attempt to have victim wire money

A type of scam where a caller pretends to be the victim's arrested grandchild looking for bail money was recently reported in Spring Lake.

Spring Lake Boro Police responded to a Jersey Avenue home for a report of attempted fraud, where a call contacted the female victim and pretended to be a grandson needing a wire transfer, police said.

According to the police report, the Jan. 25 phone call went like this: the caller identifying himself as a foreign government official, then, another individual who sort of sounded like her grand son got on the call and started to cry, and then the "government official" got back on the phone and asked for a wire transfer of money.

"During the conversation the individual informed the victim that her grandson was arrested and that she needed to complete a money wire transfer for her grandson to be released.  During the conversation the victim stated that she was allowed to speak with someone that sounded like her grandson and when she started to ask questions the individual began to cry," reported Det. Sgt. Timothy Giblin of Spring Lake Boro Police. "The phone was returned to the government official who instructed the victim how to wire the money."

However, the victim was able to contact her grandson and confirm that the phone call was an attempted fraud, and called the police.

Giblin offered the following advice: "This scam is known as the Grandma Scam. Residents are warned to check with other family members prior to wiring any money. Particularly if part of the conversation was not to tell mother/father what had occurred."

A string of these phone calls were reported in Ocean County from late 2011 through summer 2012, in Toms River, Berkeley and Point Pleasant but also elsewhere in the state such as Holmdel and New Providence.

In one, a Toms River man was robbed of more than $40,000 in a phone and wire scam when a caller lied and said his grandson was in trouble, police said. After a greeting card arrived in the mail from the actual grandson much later, the victim discovered the ruse and called police.

Both the county prosecutor's office and the state Attorney General's and Division of Consumer Affairs prepared warnings about the scam. If your “grandchild” calls requesting money, go to the Attorney General’s Web site at www.nj.gov/lps, or call the elder fraud hotline at the Division of Consumer affairs: 877-746-7850.

Hank Kerchef February 16, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Wrong town,,,, those self centered cheap azz Micks don't part with any money. lol They'll check the insurance policy before they cough up any money. lol
Michael Dwells February 17, 2013 at 06:23 AM
Wow! Looks like these scammers are not giving up anytime soon. But, unfortunately for them, we now have consumer protection websites such as http://www.callercenter.com where we get updates on the latest scams. These scammers can call all they want but they don't stand a chance at all.
The Mick February 19, 2013 at 05:18 PM
Hank, you really have a problem with the way your life turned out huh? Another day on the bus? You are a good example to the kids you drive on the bus as to why they should stay in school. Just look at hanks past posts. Just crying about driving a bus and not gettign any help living in Shark River. You are right hank, people in Spring Lake should give you some money because you drive a bus a few hours a day for a few months out of the year and cry like a btch.

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