Friend in need wire transfer scam - New York News

Friend in need wire transfer scam

Posted: Updated: Feb 27, 2012 03:25 PM EST

MYFOXNY.COM - Con artists are reportedly making a lot of money by convincing people there is an emergency involving a loved one. Authorities call it the "friend-in-need" flim-flam, the "Hello Grandma?" hustle, and the "It's me and I need help" swindle. The scams happen nationwide.

We recently got three emails about it from Fox 5 viewers.

Joanne from New Rochelle wrote: "My e-mail address was hacked and hundreds of people received a letter saying that I was in Madrid with my family and was robbed at gunpoint, and I needed money to get back home. They were asked to send 2200 in foreign currency"... and instructed to "please wire the money."

John from the Bronx wrote: "My granddaughter received a call that her mother was hijacked and she had to pay $1,500 to be released. She did not tell us and sent a money order to a person in Puerto Rico. It "was a scam, we called 911" but police said "they can't do anything."

A viewer named Suzy wrote: "My mother fell victim of a telephone scam. The caller pretended to be her grandson who supposedly was in trouble while on vacation in Mexico. He managed to convince her to wire multiple thousands of dollars through Western Union."

In the "grandma" scam, when the con man, speaking in a muffled voice and sounding panicked, says "Hello, Grandma" many people make the mistake of replying "Is that you, Billy?" or whatever their grandchild's name is. Once these hustlers have a actual name it is easier to pull off the scam. The so-called grandson will quickly pass the phone to an accomplice pretending to be a police officer or friend. That person will instruct the elderly victim to wire the money for bail or medical treatment or whatever other emergency the con men have concocted.

The one thing all these emergency scams have in common is wiring money. It is nearly impossible to reverse a wire transfer or trace the money.

The bottom line: Never wire money to strangers or someone you haven't met in person. If you get a call or email from someone claiming to be a friend or relative in trouble, ask lots of questions that a stranger couldn't possibly answer.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    God's Love We Deliver virtual bake sale for birthday cakes

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:36 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:36:46 GMT
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
    God's Love We Deliver provides meals to people in the New York City area who are too sick to shop and cook for themselves. Clients also receive birthday cards that are decorated by local school students. Sometimes a cake is the only birthday gift that God's Love's clients will receive.
  • Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Success Academy students waiting for word on new locations

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 5:58 PM EDT2014-04-23 21:58:48 GMT
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
    The mayor's office is saying one thing. The charter schools another. It is a lot of he said, she said. The bottom line is that right now the future of three charter schools is still unclear. Jennifer Duran is afraid because she doesn't know where her two children are going to school next year. Both kids attend success academy Harlem 4, one of three charter schools that still does not have a set location. The other two charters are Success Academy Jamaica in Queens and Success Academy City Hall.
  • Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Connecticut man charged in Yale hoax threat

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 3:33 PM EDT2014-04-23 19:33:11 GMT
    New Haven police say they have charged a Westbrook with making a hoax call in November to say an armed man was heading to shoot up Yale University.
    Police say they have charged a Connecticut man with making a call in November in which he falsely claimed an armed man was on his way to shoot up Yale University. New Haven police said Wednesday that 50-year-old Jeffrey Jones, of Westbrook, has been charged with falsely reporting an incident, threatening, reckless endangerment, misuse of the emergency 911 system and breach of peace.
Powered by WorldNow
Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices