WILSON COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – The holidays are a time for food, family, and–unfortunately–scammers. More and more victims are contacting police about the so-called “Grandparent Scam.”
Scammers are calling senior citizens, claiming to be their grandchildren, in some kind of trouble and are in need of money.
Detectives with the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office told News 2 they recently received their first complaint of that type.
The scammer called an 86-year-old Lebanon man, claiming he was the man’s grandson and had been arrested. He then handed the phone to another man, who said he was Deputy Tyler James.
The caller told the victim the bond on his grandson was $4,000. He instructed the victim to go to Best Buy and purchase gift cards, and then call him back and give him the card numbers to have his grandson released from jail.
The victim told police he hung up and called his grandson directly, who said he was fine and didn’t know anything about an arrest.
Lt. Scott Moore said scammers are increasingly targeting seniors.
“Being in law enforcement for 18 years, I can tolerate a lot of stuff, but one thing I can’t tolerate is people trying to steal from other people,” Lt. Moore told News 2.
Police advise if anyone calls claiming to be a relative in trouble, do not send money or personal information right away. Instead, call the relative directly. If it is a scam, call police and make a report.
Moore also reminds people that law enforcement will never call and ask for money or personal information.
Click here to read more information about the Grandparent Scam from the Tennessee Commission on Aging and Disability.