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>>

  • Superstorm Sandy

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Grimm criticizes storm recovery program

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 9:06 PM EDT2014-08-28 01:06:30 GMT
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
    When Superstorm Sandy destroyed Maureen Childs' Staten Island home, she turned to New York City's Build it Back program for help. She says what she got back was heartache. At a news conference Wednesday, Rep. Michael Grimm, who represents Staten Island and part of Brooklyn, highlighted what he called failures in a program designed to help victims of Sandy get back on their feet.
  • GIRLTALK #takeover

    Angela Simmons reaches out

    Angela Simmons reaches out

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:09 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:09:20 GMT
    The Boys and Girls Club of Newark seems like the last place you'd expect to find the daughter of hip hop royalty. But when it comes to inspiring young girls, Angela Simmons, daughter of Rev. Run of Run DMC, believes in the old adage "each one, teach one." While it may seem like she had a silver spoon in her mouth, she knows the importance of giving back.
    The Boys and Girls Club of Newark seems like the last place you'd expect to find the daughter of hip hop royalty. But when it comes to inspiring young girls, Angela Simmons, daughter of Rev. Run of Run DMC, believes in the old adage "each one, teach one." While it may seem like she had a silver spoon in her mouth, she knows the importance of giving back.
  • NYSE rings bell for pediatric cancer awareness

    NYSE rings bell for pediatric cancer awareness

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 7:00 PM EDT2014-08-27 23:00:54 GMT
    On Wednesday, the world famous New York Stock Exchange closing bell rang in honor of pediatric cancer awareness. The Loccisano family says their beloved Frankie heard the bell all the way up in heaven. Frankie's grandmother says she is convinced of it. Camille Loccisano, Frankie's mother, is the executive director of Frankie's Mission, a nonprofit pediatric cancer foundation named in her son's honor.
    On Wednesday, the world famous New York Stock Exchange closing bell rang in honor of pediatric cancer awareness. The Loccisano family says their beloved Frankie heard the bell all the way up in heaven. Frankie's grandmother says she is convinced of it. Camille Loccisano, Frankie's mother, is the executive director of Frankie's Mission, a nonprofit pediatric cancer foundation named in her son's honor.
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 | New Terms of Service What's new | Ad Choices