Published: 10:50 am, Fri. Feb. 24th, 2017Updated: 10:49 am
Attorney General Hector Balderas has issued a second Scam Alert this week, this time warning senior citizens to protect themselves against the “Bahamas Grandkids Scam” hitting New Mexico.
Scammers are calling New Mexico senior citizens from Ontario, Canada, and Maryland telephone numbers claiming their grandchild is in jail for drunk driving in another country, namely the Bahamas. The scammers tell elaborate stories, including details of a destination wedding the grandchild traveled to, then explain that after the wedding, the grandchild was arrested.
The scammer does not let the grandparent speak to the grandchild “because they are in court,” but they do urge them to call a second number to post bail. When the grandparent calls the second number, they are informed of a “deal” – if they obtain a prepaid debit card from Wal-Mart, the bail will be $2,000 instead of $3,000. They are then asked for that prepaid card number.
“I’m asking all of our families to be on guard for this scam as it preys directly on the love, trust and kindness of our New Mexico grandparents,” Balderas said. “If someone calls to tell you a family member is in jail in another country and wants money from you, please verify this information with other family members before you consider taking any action. These scammers want to scare you into giving them information and money, but do not let their lies intimidate you.”
Recent numbers associated with this scam are Maryland number 1-443-687-8088 and Ontario, Canada, number 1-437-344-0996, but this scam originates from other numbers, as well. This is an old scam with a new twist and can include a variety of different lies to trick people.
The Office of the Attorney General was alerted to this new version by an 83-year-old grandmother and retired law enforcement officer who went all the way through the scam, without giving any money, and wanted to warn the public about the details.
Anyone believing they have received such calls is asked to report them to the Office of the Attorney General by calling toll-free, 1-844-255-9210.