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New Canaan Police Warn of 'Grandparent Scam'

NEW CANAAN, Conn. – Residents are being asked to be aware of the “grandparent scam” after several people were contacted last week trying to trick elderly New Canaanites into giving up their money to help out their grandchildren.

One such call was recorded last Tuesday, according to Sgt. Carol Ogrinc. Police said a 74-year-old Knapp Lane resident was called at about 2:15 p.m. from someone using an 800 number who identified himself as the man’s grandson. Ogrinc said the caller told he man he was in jail and needed money wired to get bailed out and that a police officer would call him back with more information. After the conversation, Ogrinc said the man called his actual grandson, who confirmed he had not been arrested and the call was an attempted scam. Minutes later, someone using the same number called the man and identified himself as a police officer. The Knapp Lane resident told the caller his grandson was not in jail. The caller immediately hung up, Ogrinc said.

Ogrinc said New Canaan Police last week received between 10 and 15 reports of possible fraudulent phone calls trying to pull the “grandparent scam.”

“They usually prey on older, more vulnerable and trusting people,” Ogrinc said.

Scammers usually tell the people they speak with to send the money to Canada or another foreign country. Actual bond money is usually cash or a surety bond, she said.

Ogrinc said anyone who receives a phone call from someone claiming to be a relative in trouble should always check with another relative to confirm their situation. Ogrinc added a police officer will never call back on a bond issue and police would never ask anyone to wire money.

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