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ISP: Facebook, MySpace Could Be Source Of Information In "Grandma Scam"

Last updated on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

(JASPER) - Be careful what you put on your Facebook or MySpace page, someone could use the info to steal money from your grandparents.

That's where state police officials believe a scam generated out of Canada is getting its information. Sergeant Chad Dick of the Jasper Post says they have investigated several cases targeting the elderly.

A man calls claiming to be the grandson of the victim and states he needs money wired to him because he's in trouble.

The money is wired, then the victims learn later their relative wasn't in Canada at all. Indiana State Police at the Lowell Post have reports of similar scams with a phony loved one claiming to be in trouble in Canada, however many of the Lowell cases involved a car accident or other problem requiring instant cash.

Sgt. Dick says Canadian authorities have received complaints of over 50 scams of this nature, but have no suspect.

Police believe the scam artists are obtaining personal information from social networking or genealogy sites to make their story believable to their target.

Authorities urged persons to be absolutely sure of the person calling before sending any money, get a return phone number if you feel suspicious, and or ask a very personal question that only the real person would know.

Sgt. Dick says for those who have already become victims, there is no way to retrieve their money.

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