Denver Police reporting more cases of the 'grandparents scam'

Callers say they've got a problem & need money

DENVER - Denver Police say they are seeing an increase in reports of the grandparent scam.

The FBI says the scam started in 2008 with scammers posing as a person's grandchildren with a minor emergency -- such as "I’ve been arrested,” “I’ve been mugged,” “I’m in the hospital” or "I've been a car accident."

The scammers hope the grandparent won't recognize that the voice is wrong, or the scammer would say they were sick, then urgently plead for money.

Denver Police said, "The return of this scam involves Spanish speakers, with the suspect(s) using telephone numbers and addresses in Mexico."

Often, the scammer now impersonates an official who tells the grandparent that a family member has had car trouble, a medical problem, or has been incarcerated for a minor offense, and needs money sent either by Moneygram or Western Union.

"The victim realizes that they have been scammed after the monies are withdrawn in Mexico, but finds out that no family member has recently traveled there," Denver Police said.

The Better Business Bureau recommends that anyone getting one of these calls ask a simple question that the grandchild would know such as what school he or she goes to or their middle name.

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