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FBI warns of ‘grandparent’ scam in Central IL | #datingscams | #lovescams | #datingscams | #love | #relationships | #scams | #pof | #match.com | #dating

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The FBI’s Springfield office recently issued a warning to Central Illinois about a scam tactic they’ve seen in the region of late: scammers pretending to be the victim’s loved ones.

The “grandparent scam,” as officials call it, has been reported on several occasions throughout Central Illinois this summer, and the FBI reported that several people in Sangamon and surrounding counties have fallen victim. There are different variations, but a recent version involves the scammer claiming to have been in an accident with a pregnant woman and they are being detained by law enforcement.

Officials said the victim then receives a second call from a purported attorney who asks for money to secure their loved one’s release. They also claim that, due to a gag order, they cannot discuss the case further.

The purported attorney then arranges for an in-person pickup to collect the requested money and has a money mule arrive at the victim’s residence. Money mules often assist fraudsters, many of whom are abroad, by collecting money and then forwarding it to them. The FBI also reported that at least one money mule was caught and indicted in Springfield for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Data from the 2022 Elder Fraud Report by the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center indicates that there were over 400 victims over the age of 60 who lost a combined $3.8 million in grandparent scams. The FBI urged anyone who receives a suspicious call from a claimed loved one to hang up and then verify the story with a loved one by calling them directly.

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