Wisconsin grandparents scammed - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Wisconsin grandparents scammed

Madison (WKOW) -- from WI State Government:  A Welsh proverb says, "Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild."

  Criminals are preying on that love in Wisconsin - grandma and grandpa are getting scammed.

  A caller says, "This is your grandson.  I've had an accident with a rental car in Canada.  Please wire money.  I'll pay you back.  Don't tell mom or dad."

  One Wisconsin grandparent wired money two times and is out $19,000 because of this scam.

  It's a scam by criminals claiming to be grandchildren.

  How can this happen? 

  Well, a likely reason is grandpa and grandma have not seen their grandchildren for a while or are hearing impaired.

  Scam victims are instructed to wire money to the perpetrators in Canada. 

  Workers at a department store in Janesville who wire money told Consumer Protection they alert seniors who ask to send money to Canada and recently had called the police and saved a grandma thousands of dollars. 

  But not all stores follow this practice, and not all clerks are aware of these scams.

  A department store regional manager in Wisconsin says that local service desk staff make the decision to alert consumers if they are aware of a scam.

  One company that wires money has a specific policy in place where clerks are trained to be wary of fraud.

  For example, if elderly consumers want to wire a large amount of money to Canada, clerks ask if they know the receiver.

  If it appears that a consumer is being scammed, the clerk will refuse to send the money.

  Consumer Protection hotline staff at the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection can protect you.

  You can call Consumer Protection at 1-800-422-7128 when asked to wire money to Canada or overseas for these or other questionable reasons:

  • You've won a sweepstakes
  • A family member is allegedly in trouble
  • You have been hired as a secret shopper by strangers
  • You have been hired for other jobs
  • You are selling something.
  • You are a landlord renting out apartments
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