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Norfolk/Wrentham - Local Town Pages

Norfolk Police Warn About “Grandparent Scam”

Norfolk Police Chief Timothy Heinz recently cautioned residents about an increasingly common scam in Massachusetts in which criminals often target elderly individuals.
In a so-called “grandparent scam,” scammers call an individual and inform them that a relative has been arrested — sometimes in a foreign country. The scammers may pose as the relative of the victim or a lawyer. The scammers then request bail payment in cash or in the form of a pre-paid gift card, given to a person posing as a courier or bail bondsman who arrives at the victim’s home. In an alternative approach, the scammers request money be transferred via a wire service, such as Western Union.
The Norfolk Police Department has received reports of this scam circulating within the community in recent weeks. Norfolk Police urge all residents to remember that detainment of a person can be confirmed with the arresting police department or through the local district court clerk’s office. Bail is never paid via courier, gift card or wire service.
Avoiding the “Grandparent Scam”
If someone calls or sends a message claiming to be a family member or a friend desperate for money:
• Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story is.
• Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger could not answer.
• Call a phone number for your family member or friend that you know to be legitimate.
• Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
• Don’t wire money or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
• Report possible fraud at or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
Anyone who has questions or feels as if they may have fallen victim to a scam are urged to contact the Norfolk Police Department at 508-528-3206.