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Rip-Off Alert: Grandparents scam continues across U.S.

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 5/29/2014 6:58 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – Thousands of grandparents continue to be scam targets across the country, according to U.S. postal inspectors.

Wanda Wood said the voice sounded like her grandson. He said he needed help and money immediately.

“I really and truly believed it was Matt,” Wood said. “The kid sounded like Matt.”

Postal inspectors say Wood was one of thousands of Americans who have been victims of the so-called “Grandparent Scheme.”

There are countless variations on the stories told.

“Somebody had called her in the middle of the night saying her grandson had been in an accident and was injured, and she needed to wire money immediately to help him out,” said U.S. Postal Inspector Ann Kriedt.

She was asked to send $5,000.

“Somebody claiming to be her grandson actually got on the phone crying and told her to help him and send him money as quickly as he could,” Kriedt said.

She sent the money in an Express Mail package. Inspectors say days later this victim learned her grandson was fine and she had been scammed.

“If you get a call in the middle of the night, call your son or daughter and say, ‘Where is so and so? Are they OK? I just got this call.’ “ Kriedt said.

Jerome Mills was arrested in connection with the second case in this report. He was charged with wire fraud and conspiracy and sentenced to three years in federal prison.

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