Feb 27, 2017 at 7:43 am
ST. CLOUD, Minn. (KNSI)- An old phone scam has cost some area residents thousands of dollars. It's called the grandparents scam.
The Stearns County Sheriff's Office says several people have gotten a call and were told their grandchild is in jail.
The suspects identify themselves as a supervisor of the jail, and say they need to receive Walmart gift cards to bail their grandchild out of jail.
Several victims have purchased $3,000 and $6,000 worth of Walmart gift cards and provided the gift card information to suspects.
The sheriff's office says the jail doesn’t deal with gift cards and would not operate in this manner.
When someone is arrested, and has a bail amount, jails normally work with bail bonding agents, cash or cashier's checks.
The sheriff's office reminds residents to never provide financial information to anyone over the phone you are not familiar with.
Potential victims of this scam can call the Stearns County Sheriff's Office at 320-251-4240.
The grandparents scam has been around for over a decade and comes up every once in a while, with a new twist, but the core of the scam is to panic grandparents into sending money to help their grandchildren.
Once the money is sent it is gone and there is nothing police can do. Many of these scams originate overseas.