Sheriff warns of grandparents scam

NEBRASKA CITY - The Otoe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating complaints of “grandparent scams” throughout the County.

In grandparent scams, scammers pose as panicked grandchildren in trouble, calling or sending messages urging you to wire money immediately. They’ll say they need cash to help with an emergency – legal troubles, paying a hospital bill or needing to leave a foreign country.

The sheriff says the callers are very convincing and demanding so they can trick people into sending money before they realize it’s a scam.

If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a grandchild, other family member or friend desperate for money:

Resist the urge to act immediately – no matter how dramatic the story is.

Verify the caller’s identity. Ask questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be genuine. Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.

The sheriff says don’t send cash, gift cards or money transfers – once the scammer gets the money, it’s gone.