The FBI is warning the public about a phone scam in which callers pretend to represent a relative who is in a legal or financial crisis, usually in another country, and ask for money to resolve the situation.
In the so-called "Grandparent Scam," callers pretend to be either a relative or a third party, such as a lawyer, police officer or U.S. Embassy representative, and ask their targets to wire money to a bail bondsman or other official to have the relative freed, the FBI reported in a news release Thursday.
The FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center has received reports of callers claiming to be from Canada, Mexico, Haiti, Guatemala and Peru, the release stated.
The FBI advised anyone receiving such a call to verify information with the relative in question before sending any money.
The agency also cautioned against wiring money, especially overseas, in response to any request made via phone or email, as money sent by wire cannot be retrieved if the request turns out to be a scam.
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