The Trenton Police Department advises that several residents have recently reported receiving calls involving the “Emergency” or “Grandparent Scam”.
An “Emergency Scam” is someone receives a call, email, or social media message from a person claiming to be a family member in distress. The person may claim to have been arrested while traveling overseas or that he or she was involved in an accident, medical emergency, or “other calamity”. The scammer may provide “convincing details”, such as family names and school information.
The Trenton Police Department describes the “Grandparent Scam” as a scammer claiming to be a victim’s grandchild and asking for money or a scammer claiming to be a grandparent and calling a grandchild. Residents are advised to resist the urge to act immediately and check the story with other family and friends. Residents are also advised to ask questions that would be hard for an impostor to know and not to call the number provided by the caller or on the caller ID. You should be aware of what other family members are sharing online.
Several tips to avoid scams include:
- Never send money to someone you have not met face-to-face.
- Do not click on links or open attachments in unsolicited email, believe everything you see, or buy online unless the transaction is secure.
- Be cautious when dealing with someone you met online and about what you share on social media.
- Never share personally identifiable information with someone who contacted you in an unsolicited manner.
- Use secure and traceable transactions when making payments.
- Work with local businesses whenever possible.