Marathon County Sheriff’s Office warns of ‘grandparent scams’

Published: May. 17, 2022 at 9:33 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - A new round of grandparent scams is hitting Marathon County. Scammers are coming up with new and different ways to steal your loved ones’ money. Scammers are now calling people and telling them their grandchild has been in a car crash and is in distress. The Marathon County Sheriff’s Office said calls like this need to be reported.

“It can certainly be embarrassing if you learn you’ve been a victim of a scam,” Marathon County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Sarah Severson said.

In a one-week span, the Marathon County Sheriff’s Office reported three people were scammed out of a combined total of $83,400. All of which came from a supposed ‘grandchild’ needing money to get out of the Marathon County Jail.

“What’s really concerning about these incidents is that they are coming to the victim’s home to actually collect the cash,” Severson said.

Severson said if you or someone you know gets a potential scam call, look for red flags. If someone calls and says they’re from the Marathon County Jail, it’s likely fraud unless you hear a specific recording.

“If you receive a call from our jail, there will be an automated message that you receive letting you know that it’s a phone call from the Marathon County jail and the individual who’s trying to call you will have to state their name,” Severson said.

Then, you’ll hear a message asking to accept or deny the call along with any charges. Severson said the scam calls are not automated.

“So if you have a person who’s having a conversation with you saying they’re calling for someone who needs help in the Marathon County Jail, that’s certainly a red flag,” Severson said.

She said if you get a call and you’re not sure about it, ask questions, hang up, and check the facts with another family member.

“If anyone is calling you over the phone and asking for tens of thousands of dollars, you wanna make sure that you verify where those funds are going,” Severson said.

Severson said one person has already been arrested in connection with the scams.

If you suspect a scam, make sure to call your local law enforcement.

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