(HILLIARD, Ohio)—As Grandparents Day approaches, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine again warned grandparents and families to watch for the telephone “Grandparent Scam.” Scam artists call grandparents impersonating their grandchildren, claim to be in trouble, and ask them to send money immediately.
“These people seek to profit from the love family members have for each other,” said Attorney General DeWine. “It’s disgusting and can be very costly to grandparents trying to help. That’s why we keep getting the word out.”
In that effort, Attorney General DeWine held a news conference today at the Walmart in Hilliard. The guests included a citizen who experienced this scam, the chief of the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Section and the section’s chief investigator, along with Walmart associates who recently thwarted a grandparent scam attempt.
Almost 100 Ohioans have filed complaints with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office about this scam. Those who lost money lost an average of $5,600 each. Some victims have reported losing from $11,000 to $18,000.
“As we continue to inform people about this danger, and with alert associates and company training such as Walmart provides, we will make strides in stopping these scams,” said Attorney General DeWine.
Earlier this year, two associates at the Walmart in Delaware, Ohio, helped customers who had gone to the money center to send funds to their grandchildren. The employees talked to the grandparents, explained the scam to them and saved them from losing large sums of money.
Suggestions for protection against this scam include:
- Be suspicious if the “grandchild” asks you to keep the situation between you and the caller – “Please don’t tell mom or dad.”
- Ask the caller questions only a family member would know how to answer.
- Don’t post upcoming family travel plans online.
- Never wire transfer money to someone who calls unexpectedly, even if the caller claims to be a relative.
Attorney General DeWine stressed that these scam artists are very good and victims should not be embarrassed to report them.
To report a scam, please call 1-800-282-0515 or visit www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov.
- 30 -
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Mark Moretti: 614-466-3840