FBI warns of scam targeting grandparents in New Jersey

Federal investigators in New Jersey are warning against a fraud scam that has swindled grandparents and the elderly out of close to $1 million.

The FBI's North Jersey field office reports that scammers will call a grandparent about a relative in desperate need of money. The victim is directed to make a large cash deposit and give the money to a courier who comes to the victim's home.

“This version of the scheme is slightly more personal and more dangerous,” Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie said. “Any time a criminal comes to your home, you are extremely vulnerable."

Officials say anyone who believes they are being targeted in this scam, or similar scams, should remain on the phone and try to collect as much information from the caller as possible. Then call a family member or trusted friend to confirm the information.

MORE: FCC warns consumers to be aware of COVID-19 phone and text scams

If you are uncertain of the validity of the caller's information and feel pressured to withdraw money from your account, officials say you should speak with a bank manager for guidance.

Authorities remind people to never wire funds to unknown sources overseas because victims will not be able to get their money back.

“We want to warn as many people as possible so that they might thwart the nefarious efforts of these schemers,” Ehrie said. “Awareness is a victim’s best defense. Don’t allow criminals to separate you from your hard-earned savings. Call, verify, report."

Anyone who believes they may have been a target of this scam, or a similar scam, is urged to contact local or state authorities immediately.


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