GPD: Phone scam claiming loved ones need money uses personal information

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) – The Greeneville Police Department is warning residents of a scam that involves a shocking amount of personal information.

According to a release from GPD, the scam involves calls made to people saying a loved one has become involved in some sort of legal issue and requires money sent to an attorney.

Some of the examples GPD included in the release were scenarios in which the following happened:

  • A loved one had been involved in an accident they were at fault in
  • A loved one required money to settle medical bills and avoid charges
  • A loved one required money be sent to hire an attorney or make bail.

In the cases of this scam, the names of the loved ones are used, and the loved ones in question are traveling, which the release says gives credence to the scam.

GPD says grandparents are the typical target, and the scam usually involves saying a grandchild is in need.

The amounts of money requested vary between $5,000 and $12,000.

GPD is currently unsure of how the scammers are acquiring the level of personal information they have, but they are investigating.

The scammers ask the victims to send the money in cash through UPS or FedEx and provide an address. The addresses have been investigated and were determined to be abandoned houses and storefronts.

In cases in which the first scam attempt was successful, the callers then ask for more money, saying an unforeseen issue has arisen and requires more money.

The callers typically claim to either be an attorney or that they represent an attorney.

GPD warns residents to always contact loved ones first to confirm their wellbeing and then contact law enforcement before ever making a payment.

The release also warns people to never send cash to anyone that you do not know personally.

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