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FBI Springfield Warns of Recent Elder Fraud Crime — FBI | #datingscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

FBI Springfield is warning the public to be wary of unsolicited or suspicious phone calls where the caller is claiming to be a loved one or family member in trouble and makes an immediate request for money. FBI Springfield has identified victims in Sangamon and surrounding counties as part of this scam, commonly referred to as a grandparent scam.

Although there are numerous variations of the grandparent scam, a version recently seen in central Illinois involves victims receiving a phone call from someone claiming to be a loved one who has been in an accident with a pregnant woman and is being detained by law enforcement. The victim then receives a second call from a purported attorney who claims that due to a gag order, the case cannot be discussed further, and requests money for their loved one’s release. The scammer schedules an in-person pick-up to collect the requested money and someone acting as a money mule arrives at the victim’s residence to retrieve the funds.

Money mules are individuals who assist fraudsters by receiving money from victims of fraud and forwarding it to the fraud organizers, many of whom are located abroad. FBI Springfield’s investigation into this scam resulted in the indictment of an individual for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to the FBI’s 2022 Internet Crime Complaint Center’s Elder Fraud Report, there were 400 victims over 60 years of age who experienced almost $3.8 million in losses due to grandparent scams. FBI Springfield urges anyone who receives an unsolicited or suspicious call from someone claiming to be a loved one or family member to hang up and verify the story with your loved one by calling them directly.

To avoid becoming a victim of a grandparent scam, the FBI recommends following these tips:

  • Be careful what you post online. Scammers can use details shared on social media platforms and dating sites for targeting purposes.
  • Be suspicious of telephone calls that require you to immediately take action and request bail money for a family member in distress.
  • Be careful with caller IDs that look familiar. Scammers may use technology to disguise the actual number they are calling from and make it appear as a trusted number.
  • Never give personally identifiable information or money to anyone you have only communicated with by telephone or online.

If you and/or your loved are a victim of elder fraud, contact FBI Springfield at 217-522-9675. Visit the FBI’s resource webpage for more information.

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