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'Grandparent scam' continues to pop up in Oregon

Once again, scammers who pose as grandchildren claiming to be in trouble and needing money immediately are causing problems.

The scenario was reported earlier this year by more than one West Linn grandparent to West Linn Police. Now, Oregon State Police report that a pair of recent incidents in eastern Oregon, as well as past incidents reported to the Oregon Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Hotline, are causing concern that others may receive calls about the “emergency scam,” also known as the “grandparent scam.” The scam targets grandparents with fake stories about family members stranded in Canada or overseas in urgent need of money.

An OSP detective investigating one of these cases found that the imposter will go through newspaper anniversary announcements and obituaries where they may find names of an entire family. Additional research using White Pages or Internet search engines for a phone number leads to the placement of these scam phone calls.

There are several red flags that indicate a scammer is at work. Be wary of a caller who:

  • Requests that money be wired in a very short time frame;
  • Claims to be stuck in a foreign country;
  • Insists on secrecy; and/or
  • Gets some personal details wrong.
  • Oregonians who think they have been a victim of the “grandparent scam” should call the Oregon Attorney General Consumer Hotline at 1-877-877-9392 (doj.state.or.us) or the Federal Trade Commission at 1-800-FTC-HELP (ftc.gov).

    “When in doubt, and before you send any money, contact the State Department’s Office of Overseas Citizens Services (OCS) at 1-888-407-4747. The OCS can help verify whether the situation is legitimate or a scam.

    Additional information is available at:

  • >Consumerfed.org/pdfs/Grandparent-Scam-Tips.pdf
  • >Travel.state.gov/travel/cis-_pa_tw/financial_scams/_5608.html



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