New technology against scammers helped an elderly couple to get their money back in Micco, Florida.
The scam occurred when they were told a family member was in trouble and needed money. It sounded legitimate, so the couple scrapped what they had in savings to respond to the call for help.
The person then informed the couple that an Uber driver would pick up the money. Thankfully, the ride-sharing service and new technology helped save the couple from being scammed.
Uber’s Global Security and Investigations notified law enforcement about the sketchy situation that met the scam criteria. Of course, the company won’t reveal its secrets, but it’s usually how the service was requested.
While Uber was transporting the money package, the driver received a call to stop at the nearest police department. From there, deputies intercepted and returned the money to the elderly couple.
Tod Goodyear, Brevard County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, said it’s known as the “grandparents scam” to law enforcement. He said no arrests have been made in this case, but they are still investigating.
Scam artists know grandparents often have difficulty saying no to their grandchildren. The “Grandparents Scam” is getting more sophisticated, and the people involved prey on social media for victims.
“Often the imposter claims to have been in an accident or arrested. The scammer may ask the grandparent, ‘please don’t let mom and dad know,’ and may hand the phone over to someone posing as a lawyer seeking immediate payment,” according to the Federal Communications Commission.
The actors involved can also “spoof” the caller ID to make an incoming call appear to be from a trusted source or a lawyer’s office. The scammers can even replicate their voices.
Consumers can file a complaint online with the FCC about suspicious or unwanted calls.
Scammers can often bully victims into transferring money through a mobile payment app or by having them purchase gift cards or money orders. If you get a call like this, hang up and report it immediately to local law enforcement. Do not send money.
You can also call or text your family member directly to ensure they’re not in trouble.