Ridgewood Grandparent Scam - My9 New Jersey

Ridgewood Grandparent Scam

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Ridgewood, New Jersey (My9News) -

Ridgewood NJ is listed as one of the safest cities in New Jersey. However, that doesn't’t seem to be stopping con artists from scamming grandparents in the area. Elderly grandparents are the target of the latest scam to be circling around Ridgewood where they receive a phone call and are told that their grandchild is in desperate need of money or is in jail and needs to be bailed out.

So far, there are two known cases in this area where the scam was “successful”. One grandfather was told that his grandchild was arrested and in jail in Mexico, and he wired out $1,500 in cash. And, the next day, a local grandmother was set out to believe her grandchild was in jail in the Dominican Republic and she wired $1,300.

Notices have been given out by the Ridgewood police alerting locals of these scammers. Social media outlets like Facebook and twitter seem to be the way that these grandparents are targeted. The scammers are able to collect all their personal information online which makes these people easier to manipulate.

Gladys Van Langen, who is a part of the business district of Ridgewood, recently became a target for the scammers. “The phone rang, and this crying male voice is saying ‘grandma, grandma, help me!’ and I said ‘who is this’ and he said ‘Kevin’ or something like that, and I don’t have a grandson- I have quite a few grandsons but the name he gave me was not one of my grandsons” she said.

The Ridgewood Police Chief warns that these scammers are targeting grandparents when they are most vulnerable and calling late at night when they are half asleep. The caller is also very persistent and aggressive.

The police chief has also recommended some safety tips in the meantime if you do get a call. Some of these tips include:

1. Don’t respond immediately to a call in the middle of the night if you’re not sure who it is.

2. Try and contact your grandchild or another family member directly to verify if the caller contacting you is true.

3. Call the police and report the incident on their non-emergency line (201-652-3900).

4. Never wire money to a person or company you don’t know.

5. Don’t give personal, bank account, or credit card information to someone you don’t know.

Another safe way to make sure you don’t become a prime target online is to make sure that your social media settings are private, and don’t post or talk about personal matters via Facebook or twitter.

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