The Madison Police Department recently sent an alert warning banks that the Madison area has been targeted again by scam artists who are convincing people to send large amounts of money, in multiple payments, in order to help their grandson out of a legal jam. The alert was directed at Madison-area financial institutions, but the reality is that all Wisconsin banks should be aware of the resurgence of the “Grandparent Scam.”
The Madison Police Department sent the following alert:
The victims receive tearful calls from someone pretending to be their grandson. This person would also hand the phone off to someone claiming to be a police officer. The victims are then told that the grandson had been a passenger in a car where drugs were found, and money was needed for bail money and legal fees. The caller cautions the victims that no one else should learn of the bind their grandson was in, as he did not want his parents to know. The caller is also convincing the victims not to call or contact the grandson, as that will cause further legal problems for him.
In the current cases, the victims are instructed to send large amounts of cash, wrapped up in cellophane and magazines, and then placed into an envelope. The package is then being sent to various addresses in Michigan through FedEx in these current cases.
These are the specific details of the current scam being reported to our department. Please be aware that the details of the caller’s story may vary a bit.
We are asking people to please spread the word that this scam is going around Madison again, and share the details listed above. Please check in specifically with your elderly family members and friends, and share this information with them, as they seem to be a focused target group.
We are also notifying the area financial institutions, and asking them to take a proactive stance with their customers who they may notice are withdrawing large amounts of cash.
A legitimate law enforcement official would not ask someone to send large amounts of cash through the mail, as it is technically against the law to send these amounts of cash in that manner. If you have been the victim of this type of a situation, please report the incident to your local police department.