SCOTTSDALE, AZ - Scottsdale police say a phone scam targeting senior citizens has crooks cashing in by ripping off Valley grandparents.
Scottsdale police are calling this the "grandma scam" after receiving a number of complaints from grandparents who said they've lost thousands of dollars trying to save who they thought was their grandchild.
Roberta Pilcher got a phone call in November from someone she thought was her grandson, crying saying he had been in a car accident in Mexico and needed money right away to help bail him out of jail.
Pilcher said she didn't think twice about following the directions because the voice sounded exactly like her grandson. She immediately went to her bank and wired more than two-thousand dollars to help.
It wasn't until she got a second phone call asking for even more money that her suspicion kicked in.
"I called my grandson and I don't know why I did not call him before. It sounded so much like him and I wanted to help him. He said, 'Grandma I'm in the USA I'm here.' I couldn't believe I just lost all this money," said Pilcher.
Scottsdale police said these scams vary from person to person, but all of them have similar traits.
1. They prey on senior citizens.
2. The scammer asks the victim to wire money because they are in trouble in a foreign country.
3. The scammer asks the victim to not tell other family members because they are embarrassed about their situation.
Police are still investigating these scams. They are warning people to never wire transfer money to anyone for any reason.
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