Man falls victim to 'grandparent scam'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - A man who sent over $2,000 to a foreign country to have his grandson released from prison is now wondering if the whole thing was a hoax.

The man told Myrtle Beach Police he received a call from a woman claiming to be a lawyer in the Dominican Republic. The caller states that the man's grandson was in jail, and it would take a $2,300 Western Union money transfer to have him released.

The story thickens when the man claims a young man spoke to him, sounding somewhat like a tired version of his grandson's voice. That person knew his grandson's name, his grandson's nickname for his grandfather, and asked that this indiscretion be kept a secret from his mother.

After the money was sent via a Western Union in a Myrtle Beach grocery store, the man began to question the situation. He called his grandson who confirmed he was not in the Caribbean at all.

The "Grandparent Scam" is not new to Horry County and has resurfaced in recent months, according to Horry County Police.

"It is resurfacing, and well worth letting the people of Horry County know it is here, and you need to be cautious," explained Horry County Police spokesman Sgt. Robert Kegler when the scam resurfaced in March 2013.

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.

Police are asking anyone who have received these calls to notify them immediately.

Copyright 2013 WMBF News. All rights reserved.