Police warn elderly residents, families about 'grandparent scam'

Hudson police
Data pix.

HUDSON, Ohio (WJW)-- Hudson police and other local law enforcement agencies are warning the elderly and their families to be aware of telephone scams in which the victim is asked to send money to help a loved one in trouble.

“Either they're in jail, they're in the hospital, they need immediate action. They're crying to the grandparent. They're saying, 'grandma, grandpa, I need your help and I need it now,’" said Hudson Police Detective Brian Kozel.

Investigators say the scammers try to convince the victim that the situation is urgent and even call back several times. “’Grandma, grandpa, I need you to do me a favor. Don't tell anybody about it. I need you to go the bank right away, withdraw some money and send it somewhere,’” said Detective Kozel.

An 83-year-old Hudson woman, who fell victim to the scam in 2017, has now filed a lawsuit against FedEx, alleging the company failed to stop a package that she sent to a scammer.

According to the suit, a caller claimed to be the victim's grandson, and said he had been in a drunk driving accident, and needed $6,000 to get out of jail.

The lawsuit contends that after the woman used FedEx to send the money, she realized her grandson was at home, safe and sound.

The complaint indicates the woman and Hudson police contacted FedEx, and the company agreed to stop delivery, but the package containing the cash was delivered anyway to an address in New Jersey.

While not commenting on the lawsuit, Hudson police say the case illustrates why it's so important to verify any story and to take the time to carefully analyze the situation before giving up any funds.

“When somebody is calling you on the phone, and asking you to send money, make sure you get their phone number, and verify who they are; make sure that you're talking to that person they're purporting to be,” said Detective Kozel. “Before you send any money, contact your local police department if you have any questions about what you're going to do."

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