Sacto 9-1-1
March 13, 2012
Grandparent scam cheats Woodland woman out of $14,000

A Woodland grandmother was recently bilked out of $14,000 when she fell for a well-known telephone scam.

Woodland police called attention to the swindle and released tips on how to avoid what is commonly called the "Grandparent Scam." In the most recent instance it went like this:

The woman received a call from a person claiming to be her grandson. He told her that he had been arrested in Canada following a traffic accident and needed money to fix the vehicle.

She wired $1,000.

Over the next few weeks, more phone calls were received from the phony grandson and his phony attorney. Money was needed to help defend a lawsuit stemming from the made-up car crash, the scammers said.

The Woodland grandmother kept making wire transfers and is now out $14,000, said police. Police were contacted March 7 by the woman who finally figured out she had been scammed.

Tips to avoid the scam:

- Verify the caller's identity by asking personal questions a stranger could not answer.

- Resist acting immediately

- Call someone you know to help verify the story.

- Avoid giving credit card or bank information to anyone you don't know personally.

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