ONEIDA — State Police are warning local residents of a phone scam that targets senior citizens.
Called a grandparent or family emergency scam, scammers have been acting like a potential victim’s family member in an emergency situation.
Victims have described scammers sounding like a family member who claim to be in legal trouble. Scammers then request that victims call a lawyer, who then demands money be wired to them.
Three regional senior citizens have recently lost over $56,000 through the scam. Deputies said that in all three cases there was no delay in providing the money.
“These scammers are skilled enough to obtain the name of the grandchild either through a different phone call or online,” deputies stated in a release. “They can find out the same online personal information about the grandparents.”
State police added that they urge senior citizens to attempt to reach his or her family member and ask a question only they would know — such as the name of a pet or the family member’s mother’s birthday — before sending the money.
Deputies urge victims to call the New York Office of the Attorney General at 1-800-771-7755 and to file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at ftc.gov/complaint or call 877-382-4357.