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Long-Time Grandparent Scam Resurfaces in Cambridge


12/11/2019

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A long-time scam that has victimized our senior residents in the past has recently resurfaced in Cambridge and we want the community to be aware of it to help prevent future victimization. 

Over the last week, we have received at least three reports in which residents - who are also grandparents - have been contacted over the phone by a scammer that informs them that their grandchild has been involved in an accident or there is a warrant out for their arrest.

The scammer knows the identity of the person who “was in the accident” or “arrested” and uses threats to try to convince the person being called that they will help their grandchild stay out of jail, cover an expensive damaged rental car fee or receive immediate hospital care if they cooperate. The scammer will generally make the person stay on the phone while they go to a local store and purchase pre-paid money cards or wire money to the scammer to clear up the “warrant” or “accident.”

While we continue to investigate each of these incidents, we want to encourage you to follow these tips in order to protect yourself from these type of scam attempts:

- Never give out personal information over the phone, online or in-person unless you are positive you are speaking to the company or entity you are expecting, or if you initiated the contact.
- If you have doubts about a phone call or communication you received, attempt to directly contact the family member who is being represented in these scenarios or the company or organization who “allegedly” contacted you.

If you receive any contact mentioned in this article (or anything suspicious), please contact the Cambridge Police at 617-349-3300.

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Cambridge Police Department

Branville G. Bard, Jr.
Police Commissioner

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125 Sixth Street
Cambridge MA 02142

Phone:617.349.3300