Consumer Alert: Beware of Grandparent Scam

March 7, 2011

Attorney General William J. Schneider warns about an increasingly common scam: the call from a grandchild needing emergency money. The Consumer Protection Division recently took a call from a Maine grandfather who said he had been contacted by someone claiming to be his grandson. He said he was in jail in Canada and had been in an accident. When the grandfather said ?you don?t sound like Buddy?, the person said he had broken his nose in the accident. The grandfather decided to wire $2800 by Western Union. Fortunately, the employee at a local Western Union office had questioned and warned the grandfather about this transfer, and the grandfather quickly confirmed that his grandson was fine. The money was to be wired to someone in Spain. The grandfather stated that he and his wife recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary, and that their grandson?s name was mentioned in the announcement. It was clear that the scammers used this information when contacting the consumer.