2012-05-10 / Community

Public Safety warns of scam

MANISTIQUE – The Manistique Public Safety Department would like the public to be aware of a new phone scam which occurred in Manistique on May 3.

According to the press release issued, an elderly man who is listed in the phone book received a phone call from a young male who sounded like his teen-aged grandson. The teenager was talking excitedly and stated that he was on a trip with some friends and that his car had gotten pulled over in Niagra Falls. The police had then searched the car, found drugs, and arrested all of them. The teenager then stated that the drugs were not his, that he knew nothing about them being in the car. The teenager further stated that he needed his grandfather to send him $2,000 to bail him out of jail.

The teenager then stated that the “police officer” wanted to talk to him. A very official sounding male then came on the phone and identified himself as a Niagra Falls Police Officer. The male stated that the youth was in fact under arrest but that he may be found not guilty in the end because the police suspected that the drugs belonged to the other passengers. The “officer” then went on to explain that if the grandfather sent $2,000 for bail money that the police would put the grandson on a bus and send him home.

The grandfather then told the “officer” that it did not matter to him if the grandson was guilty or not, that he did not have any money to send and that he would not try to bail him out. The grandfather then gave the “officer” several other phone numbers of other relatives so they could be contacted. The “officer” then cut off the conversation, gave no other details, and hung up.

The grandfather then called his real grandson’s mother to tell her what had happened, whereupon he learned that his grandson was sleeping in bed, at home, in another Upper Peninsula town. The grandfather then called all the other relatives and alerted them to this phone scam.

This is a very clever scam and could have led to the loss of $2,000 from the victim because he may have acted too quickly out of sympathy for his real grandson. Public Safety would like to remind the public that they should always be very cautious in dealing with suspicious phone calls of any kind where money is involved and that they should first call their office or any other police agency to obtain their input on the situation. In this particular case, Manistique Public Safety would have contacted the Niagra Falls police to verify this situation before any money transaction took place.

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