Phone scam targeting Pine Belt grandparents

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - Laurel Police want to alert the public about a phone scam that is targeting grandparents in the Pine Belt.

Two Laurel residents have already fallen victim to the scam and have lost a significant amount of money. The way the scam works is the grandparent receives a call from someone in a low voice asking them to guess who it is hoping they will say the name of one of their grandchildren. Once they establish the identity they tell the person they are in jail and need a large amount of money. The scammer asks them to buy a green-dot loadable credit card. If the grandparent gets the card they get a call back and are asked to give the code on the back of the card and then the scammer withdraws all the money on the card.

Laurel Police say that if anyone should get a call from someone asking for money they should just hang up.

"Anytime anybody calls asking for money and they mention checks or green-dot cards or loadable cards it's more than likely a scam," said Captain Tommy Cox, Detective, Laurel Police. "It's very easy to look online or call any police station in the country to find out if your loved one is in jail. Don't just take it for granted and send the money."

Cox says once the money is gone, it's gone and there is nothing they can do to catch the scammers since most of the calls originate from overseas.

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