A scam that involves calling senior citizens and pretending to be a grandchild in duress has been reported in again in the Killeen area.
The “grandparent scam” is an effort targeted at people of grandparent age, who have grandchildren in their mid-20s.
A Killeen resident told the Herald she got a scam call on Wednesday, and another resident she knows also got a call this week.
The scam is nothing new, according to Fort Hood spokesman Chris Haug.
It began about 10 years ago, and the Fort Hood public affairs office gets nearly 15 calls a day from people saying they want to send money to a soldier, he said.
Sometimes, the scammers are using a deployed soldier’s Facebook profile to gain information, Haug said.
Other times, spouses of soldiers will get a phone call from someone who claims to be having an affair. The scam has taken on several variations over the years, but Haug said the Army’s stance has remained the same.
“Contact your local authorities and do not, do not, do not send any money,” Haug said in a November interview.
The Western Union website has a section dedicated to informing the public about the grandparent scheme. Though the person on the other line might be creating a sense of urgency, it’s important that grandparents don’t act quickly, without verifying who is calling.
“Con artists will pull in others to impersonate attorneys, law enforcement personnel or others of authority to create the sense of urgency,” the Western Union website said. “With the availability of information on the internet, the scam is even easier to pull off. Cons can look up names, phone numbers and more and find out the right things to say to their victims. And with background noise and muffled phone lines, it can be hard to distinguish between voices.”
If you find yourself the target of a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at 888-382-1222.