AG Nessel warns of family emergency phone scams

“Bad actors will stop at nothing to get your money or personal information – that includes exploiting your love and concern for your family members,” Nessel said.

LANSING, Mich. — Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a warning today encouraging people to be aware of family emergency phone scams. These scams imitate emergencies like kidnappings or arrests to request money from the victim. 

A couple of Michigan grandparents were recently tricked out of $33,000 through this scam. They wire transferred $3,000 to someone they thought was their grandson after he called and claimed he was caught fishing without a license in Canada and needed to pay a $3,000 fine. They transferred an additional $30,000 after the supposed grandson called again to say that alcohol and drugs were found when his boat was searched, and he needed $30,000 to post bond to get out of a Canadian jail. 

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“Bad actors will stop at nothing to get your money or personal information – that includes exploiting your love and concern for your family members,” Nessel said.

You should be suspicious of a phone call where:

  • A child or grandchild calls you from a far away location. 
  • The grandchild says, "It's me," or "It's your grandson," or "It's your favorite grandchild." 
  • The child or grandchild is in some trouble or some type of distress. 
  • The caller asks for money to be wire transferred.

Nessel said if you receive a phone call like this, you should hang up and verify the whereabouts of the relative in question. You should never transfer money or reveal personal information.

To see AG Nessel's alert about these scams, as well as a full list of what to do if you receive a scam call, click here.

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