The FBI is warning of a so-called “Grandma Scam” in Juneau.
Con artists are again targeting senior citizens, posing as a family member who is stranded, has been in a car accident and needs money, according to Eric Gonzalez, the supervisory special agent for the FBI in Alaska.
“In each case, the caller claimed to have broken their nose and that’s why they sound differently. And then they asked the senior citizen to please send them money to handle either legal fees or medical fees, and the sums are usually about 25-hundred dollars,” Gonzalez says.
Gonzalez says in most instances, the caller sounds believable and has personal information about the family, often easy to find these days on Facebook.
“That’s really an easy way social-engineer some information. Usually you call a person up, pretend to be someone and try to elicit information from them. Now you just go to Facebook and you can learn all about a person; you can look at family photos,” Gonzalez says. “So with Facebook and these social media platforms the person who’s using those things need to make sure they understand not only the privacy rules of that platform, but also the privacy settings for their accounts.”
The FBI has had several reports of the calls in Juneau recently. Gonzalez says if anyone gets such a call, just hang up.
The scam is similar to one that often hits people’s email.
- The multi-year project commissioned by the Arctic Council features indigenous youth gathering and sharing traditions.
- This week, 88 Energy announced they've started setting up a rig on the North Slope to drill a second well for Project Icewine. According to a recent 88 Energy presentation, the company thinks its leases may hold between 1.4 and 3.6 billion barrels of oil.
- The state is fining oil and gas company Hilcorp an additional $160,000 for using nitrogen without permission while working on two wells in 2015 -- the same practice that nearly killed three North Slope workers.
- Roughly 6,000 state workers were unable to log in to their computers, affecting two in five executive branch workers.