In the past month the Barnesville police department has received numerous complaints concerning an international phone scam. The way the scam works is this: The caller will state, “Hi Grandma or Grandpa this is your grandson or grandaughter.” The grandparent will state the grandchild's name: “Billy is this you?,” giving the caller the grandchild’s name.
The caller then states they have been in some type of an emergency and need money immediately. The false grandchild will usually say they are in a foreign country, most commonly Spain or Mexico. In most instances the caller will ask the target to send the money through Western Union and perhaps give a name of a friend who can pick up the money.
The final comment will be, “Please don’t tell my parents, I don’t want them to worry.” The scam artist is feeding off of the good heart of the grandparents.
Victims in Lamar County have lost thousands of dollars to these scams. There are three major clues of this scam: The person wants you to wire money through Western Union. The person wants you to cash checks or money orders and have the money wired back to them but you may keep a portion. Third, you have won money but you need to send money for tax or administrative purposes.
“Remember, if it takes you to send money to receive money it is a scam,” said Lt. Al Moltrum. “Please, before sending money to anyone, call the Barnesville police and give us the details and let us investigate to see if it is a scam.” Call Moltrum or Inv. Bryan McWhorter at 770-358-1244.