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Acting Attorney General
Paula T. Dow
Division of Consumer Affairs
Sharon Joyce, Acting Director
   
For Immediate Release:
February 19, 2010
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
 
Consumer Alert: Grandparents Targeted in New Scam

NEWARK – An emerging scam where con artists target grandparents is being reported across the country and Acting Attorney General Paula T. Dow and Acting Consumer Affairs Director Sharon Joyce today warned residents to be leery of callers claiming to be their grandchild and in need of money.

“These con artists are exploiting the grandparent-grandchild relationship for their own personal gain,” Acting Attorney General Dow said. “Grandparents are being defrauded out of hundreds, even thousands, of dollars.”

In this scam, the con artist calls the grandparent and claims he/she is the grandchild and either is stranded or under arrest and in need of cash immediately. In most reported cases, the caller claims to be in Canada on a visit and that the money must be wired. The wired funds end up in an account controlled by the con artist.

The con artist usually has the name of the grandchild, which was obtained from online blogs, networking web sites or genealogy web sites.

Joyce said anyone who receives such a telephone call should report it to their local consumer affairs office or the state Division of Consumer Affairs. No complaints have been filed with the Division to date.

Consumers can file complaints with the Division online at http://www.nj.gov/oag/ca/ocp/ocpform.htm or by calling 1-800-242-5846 (toll-free within N.J.) or 973-504-6200.

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