Almanac

News - April 20, 2011

Atherton police to hold meeting on 'grandparent scam'

by Renee Batti

The Atherton Police Department is holding a Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 21, to discuss a phone scam that targets grandparents — an operation known as the "grandparent scam" that's being played out all over the country but that recently has victimized several residents in town.

The meeting is set for 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers, 94 Ashfield Road, in the Town Center.

The scam involves a caller pretending to be a grandchild or a person of authority, such as an attorney or law enforcement officer. The grandparent is told that the grandchild is out of town, in some sort of predicament, and needs to have funds wired immediately.

On April 4, the police department issued a bulletin on its blog, saying: "In the past weeks, there have been several reports of residents receiving fraudulent calls seeking wired funds. Unfortunately, some of our residents have fallen prey to this scam."

The bulletin advised residents receiving such a call to contact the grandchild directly, or call his or her parents or other relative.

Those who have fallen prey to the scam are urged to call the police to file a report. "You should also file a fraud report with the company you used to send the funds," the police bulletin said.

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