Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock warned of a new scam targeting the elderly and encouraged Montanans to sign up for a new service through his office which warns consumers of scams as state officials investigate and track them during a presentation at Mission Ridge Retirement Community on Friday.
In the "grandparent scam," an older person receives a call from someone who pretends to be their grandchild, Bullock said. Sometimes, the caller is crying and sounds in distress and may claim to be in a foreign country. The call always leads to one thing: the grandparent must wire cash to help the grandchild. The person's grandchild is not in trouble, but once a trusting grandparent wires money overseas, it is virtually impossible to recover.
"Montana seniors have lost tens of thousands of dollars to criminals who make their living preying on decent people's emotions," Bullock said. "We're here today because we don't want you or any other Montanans to be the next victim."
Bullock outlined the Scam Alerts system, which notifies subscribers when a new scheme hits. To sign-up for this service and receive warnings of scams, go to www.consumerprotection.mt.gov.