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Spring has finally arrived, and thousands of Wisconsin college students will be heading to far away places for spring break. It can also be a time for con artists to ramp up the “grandparent scam.” These fraudsters call elderly people with the pretense that a grandchild has been arrested, or hospitalized, or has endured some other hardship that requires money.
The caller asks the victim to send a wire transfer of money to help the grandchild get through the hardship. Don’t take the bait! Each year thousands of grandparents are scammed out of millions of dollars by this scheme. If you receive a call like this, protect yourself from becoming a victim of this scam by authenticating the caller’s claims. Do not send any money until you check with the grandchild’s parents, or call the grandchild directly to verify everything is fine.
What can you do if you become a victim of this scam? Report the scam to your local police and sheriff departments.
People should also file a complaint with: Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade & Consumer Protection – Consumer Protection Hotline: 1-800-422-7128. You can also file a consumer complaint online.
To report healthcare and consumer scams, contact Wisconsin SMP (Senior Medicare Patrol) at 1-800-4882596 extension 317 or visit our website at www.wisconsinsmp.org to learn more.