ST. PETERS, Mo. (KMOV.com) – Money-making schemes that target the elderly happen all the time, but are vastly underreported to authorities and family members.
A frantic caller identifies himself as your grandson, who has gotten himself into trouble in a foreign country. He then pleads with you to wire money immediately and, whatever you do, not to tell mom and dad.
The scam happened again and likely many more times than authorities even know about, according to St. Peters police.
A St. Peters man wired almost $7,000 to Mexico to help his grandson only to find out later that it was all a lie.
Police tell News 4 that the elderly victims are often embarrassed and don’t want anyone to know about being victims to the crime often called the “Grandparents Scam.”
“They are in control of their finances right now and if they lost that amount of money, their son or daughter might come in and think they are not responsible and take over that source of independence for them,” Melissa Doss, of the St. Peters Police Department, said. “So they don’t want to admit that because they don’t want their loved ones to think they can’t handle their own finances.”
It is almost impossible to get the money back once you wire it to another country, but police still want to know if it has happened to you.