‘Grandchild in Jail’ Scam Circulating Evansville Area
There is yet another scam circulating the Evansville area targeting older citizens that you and your loved ones need to know about.
There is always someone out there trying to trick you into giving them some money. These scammers have gotten very creative throughout the years. While there are countless ways in which people can scam you out of money. It's hard to not only keep up with them, but it has gotten even harder to decipher what is legit and what is a scam.
This is especially true among older members of the community. Scammers like to target them by playing on fear and emotions because they seem to be an easier target. Case in point: the Gibson County Sheriff's Office put out a release about a scam that has been circulating the area among senior citizens.
"Grandchild in Jail" Scam
According to the Gibson County Sheriff's Office:
One report from earlier today was regarding a grandchild needing bail money.
The caller stated his name was Michael Roberts from the Public Defender’s Office of Massachusetts. The phone number displayed was 971-308-0298. Note: That area code is originally from Oregon, and while numbers can be ported anywhere, a Public Defender's Office is unlikely to have an out-of-area phone number.
The caller stated that their grandchild was in jail and needed bail money.
Spoiler alert: the grandchild was not in jail.
These scammers will ask for bank account numbers, credit/debit card numbers, or maybe have you buy various gift cards at the store and read the card numbers over the phone. Once you give them that information, they can take your money quickly.
The Gibson County Sheriff's Office says that if you do receive a call from someone claiming that your grandchild is in jail, or somebody claiming to be your grandchild saying that bail money is needed, or money for emergency vehicle repairs, hospital bills, etc., be very skeptical. You should not give over any personal information or provide any form of payment. Hang up and call your grandchild or their parent at a number that you know is tied to them to see if they are actually in jail or any of the other aforementioned scenarios.
Another Type of Scam in the Evansville Area
The Gibson County Sheriff's Office also issued another warning about scammers in the area:
Be aware of scammers. We've had reports of scammers spoofing the Sheriff's Office phone number and telling people there is an arrest warrant for them and to avoid jail, tells them to go buy gift cards (stores may vary) and provide the numbers over the phone.
This is just not true. If you have a warrant, we'll just come and take you to jail. Gift cards are not an option. Money orders or payments such as Moneygram and Western Union are not options.
Never provide payment or personal information over the phone if you're not absolutely sure who you're talking to.
To sum all of this up:
ALWAYS be skeptical when receiving odd calls like this.
NEVER give out personal information or send money until you have confirmed with proper authorities or people involved first.