The Rockwall Police Department is warning the residents of a telephone scam that has been reported in the area. It is called the “Grandparent Scam”.
How the scam works is you get a phone call from someone claiming to be your grandchild saying “I’ve been arrested or I’ve been in an accident and I need money”. The person may be crying over the phone which will help disguise their voice. Many times they don’t actually identify themselves and wait to see if you will give them the name of your grandchild by you asking questions like “Is that you, Tyler?” or “Are you hurt, Tyler?”. The person now has the name of your grandchild and they will use it.
The person then tells you that someone else will be calling you with information on where to send the money. Almost immediately you will get another call from a person claiming to be a police officer, lawyer, or bail bondsman and they instruct you to wire money or purchase pre-paid gift cards. If you send the money, they will continue to call requesting more money for other charges and/or fees until they can no longer get any more money from you.
This is a scam and do not fall victim to it. If you receive one of these phone calls, RPD recommends that you do the following:
1. Stay calm and don’t act immediately.
2. Ask the caller claiming to be your grandchild a question that only a family member would know like the name of a family pet or their brother’s middle name, etc.…
3. After you hang up the phone, call your grandchild or another family member. Many times the person who they claim to be is at home, school or work and everything is fine.
4. Never wire or send money based on a phone call or an email. If the caller is asking for pre-paid gift cards, this is another good indication that you are being scammed.
5. Ask the person who is requesting you send money for a name and phone number so you can call them back.
6. Contact your local police department.