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Grandparents scam hits Butte County

By Tyler May, tmay@krcrtv.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 05:50:10 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 04 2013 08:46:09 PM CST
CHICO, Calif. -

Two elderly couples in Chico and Oroville have been scammed by people claiming to be their grandchildren.

The district attorney's office says more than $10,000 was given to these scammers, and they're saying the calls are coming from Canada.

It's called the Grandparent scam.
      
Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey said that two elderly couples in their 80s received a phone call from someone claiming to be their grandson.
     
One case happened in Chico last week and another in Oroville on Tuesday.  The scammer then told the couple he was stuck in Mexico and was involved in a car accident.
     
He then asked the elderly couple to wire them money so he could get back home.
     
The couple in Oroville transferred $1,700, and the Chico couple transferred $10,000.
   
"If someone contacts you over the phone or over the internet unsolicited, it is important that you make sure you don't respond at that time," said Ramsey.  "You get information, you hang up, and then you call back a number that you know is right."

Ramsey also pointed out the scammers could pose as a credit delivery system company.  They convinced one of the couples to send them more money to fix the problem.

The district attorney's office says there's nothing they can do.  The only evidence they have are cell phone numbers from disposable phones.