Telephone Scam Targeting Santa Cruz County
District Attorney Jeffrey S. Rosell announced today that Santa Cruz County residents have been reporting a telephone scam where suspects pretend to be a grandchild in trouble. The calls are well rehearsed and dramatically presented in order for the grandparent to react emotionally and immediately.
The scam artists describe a situation where they are in trouble and need money. Either they are in jail and need bail money, or they are travelling and their luggage and money has been lost. The caller will tell the grandparent not to tell their parents so they won’t get into trouble. They then ask the grandparent to go to a Western Union, CVS, or other store to purchase a Money Gram or re-loadable card to send to them. Scam artists have also requested that victims go to the bank to make direct deposits. The typical victim loses between $800- $5000.
Consumers should never give out personal information to anyone over the phone or agree to pay money to someone from an unsolicited telephone call until they have had the opportunity to personally confirm the information with trusted family members. If you have been a victim of this scam, please contact our Consumer Affairs Division (831) 454-2050.