Washington County Sheriff’s Office: Beware of the ‘Grandparent Scam’


Grandparents beware.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies have seen a “significant increase” in people falling victim to “The Grandparent’s Scam.” Within the last 10 days multiple families have fallen victim to this scam, losing on average more than $5,000 each.

Here’s how the scam works, according to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office:

An elderly grandparent will receive a phone call from a person posing as their grandchild. The caller may know personal information about the both the grandparent and the grandchild, and give a detailed story about being arrested. The caller posing as the grandchild will pressure the grandparent for money to be wired or transferred using services such as “Green Dot Cards” or “Western Union” to cover legal expenses and bail.

Do not fall for this trick.

If you, or someone you know, receives a call like this, police say you should:

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly. The caller may be posing as the grandchild, an attorney or a judge and they will put pressure on you to send money immediately. Hang up the phone if you have to.
  • Call 911. Your local law enforcement agency can assist you in verifying whether the call is legitimate or a scam.
  • Refuse to send money through wire transfer or overnight delivery.
  • Obtain the phone number of the party calling if you can. This may assist law enforcement in their investigation.

The sheriff’s office says they need the public’s help with this scam.

Please share this information with as many family members and friends as possible, especially with the senior citizens in your life.

“We need help in getting this information out to the public to avoid further victimization of our citizens,” a Washington County Sheriff’s Office Facebook post reads.

Click on these links for more information on these scams: