GLADSTONE — Police in Delta and Menominee Counties have received an increased number of calls involving a phone scam where the caller states that a grandchild or other family member has been in an accident and needs money for medical treatment or bond money.
Detective Sgt. Jean Belanger with Michigan State Police at the Gladstone Post says most scams involve obtaining a victim’s personal information under false pretenses. The scammer usually portrays a sense of urgency, pretending to be an official of a legitimate organization to fool a victim into providing personal information or requesting that they send money.
To avoid becoming a scam victim:
- Do not give personal information to unknown callers.
- Do not send money until you have verified the identity of the caller and the circumstances of the request.
- Do not respond to unsolicited e-mails from unknown senders.
- Use a reliable source, such as the phone book, to confirm the contact’s phone number or e-mail.
- Report any suspicious contacts to police.
Belanger reminded residents that scams can take many different forms, but if the offer seems too good to be true, it probably is. They say to verify all information prior to sending any money to someone claiming to be a family member or someone claiming to be assisting a family member.