'Grandparent scam' resurfaces in Horry County - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

'Grandparent scam' resurfaces in Horry County

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CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – It's a scam that's been going around for a while, but now Horry County police say, it's resurfaced in the Grand Strand.

It's often called the "grandparent scam," because it targets older people who have grandchildren, said Sgt. Robert Kegler of the Horry County Police Department.

"It is resurfacing, and well worth letting the people of Horry County know it is here, and you need to be cautious," he explained.

Sgt. Kegler says the scammers will call someone, claiming to be their grandchild. Eventually, they talk them into sending money, saying they're in jail and need money to get out, or that they've been in a car accident.

"They are targeting elderly people who would have grandchildren college-aged," explained Sgt. Kegler.

Kathy Graham of the Better Business Bureau says one grandmother who fell for it, sent $15,000 to the scammers, because she thought she was helping her grandchild who they said had been in a car accident.

Graham says these scammers like to toy with people's emotions.

"What's most important to you is your family, and grandparents especially are concerned about their grandkids," explained Graham. "What these scammers are doing is playing on the emotion, trying to get you worried, anxious, and upset, to where you make a decision in haste, rather than stopping and thinking it out."

Graham says the best thing to do is stay calm and call other family members to see if the story is true. She says, if money ever comes up in a phone call – that's a red flag.

"Anytime anyone asks you to wire money," said Graham, "you better stop and breathe, because chances are, it's a scam."

Police say they're on the lookout for whoever is behind all this, but they are hard to track down because they're usually out of the country.

"The victim lives in Horry County, the suspect would be in Canada, or the United Kingdom, so it's tough to establish jurisdiction," explained Sgt. Kegler. "That being said, it should be reported to us so we can work with other agencies to put a stop to it eventually"

Now its early 2013 and the scam is rearing its ugly head again. Horry County Police are asking people who have received these calls to notify them immediately.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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