Sheriff Brent Miller is alerting older residents and their loved ones about a scam targeting senior citizens. A Washington County woman was recently a victim of this scam, but thanks to knowledgeable bank staff, was not financially impacted.
“This grandparent scam has been around for quite a few years. There’s a reason for that – scammers have successfully used it to cheat people out of their hard-earned money,” said Sheriff Miller.
The sheriff’s department was contacted this week by First Harrison Bank. The spokesperson said a Washington County woman came to the Floyds Knobs branch seeking a loan to bail her grandson out of jail. The woman believed she had received a call from her grandson, who told her he probably sounded funny because he had broken his nose.
The “grandson” said he had been taken to the hospital after being involved in a drunk-driving crash and then said he was handing the phone to his attorney. The “attorney” told the woman she needed to send him $6,000 to represent her “grandson.” The woman told the man she couldn’t get that much money. When he asked how much she thought she could send, she said $1,000 and proceeded to go to the bank to obtain a loan to pay it.
Bank personnel realized this was a scam and educated the customer. They encouraged her to call her grandson and once she did, she learned he was safe and at home.
“First Harrison Bank deserves credit for having alert personnel who immediately realized this for exactly what it was – a scam targeting a vulnerable customer,” said Sheriff Miller. “Unfortunately, these scams are a part of life and all too often, are successful in taking advantage of people.”
Sheriff Miller advises residents to never give out personal information if a caller requests it and to always verify a caller is who she or he claims to be. “You can always call the sheriff’s department at 812-883-5999 if you ever have any questions,” he said. “It’s always better to be safe than sorry.”