Authorities say several Josephine County residents have recently been the victims of phone scam activity. It's the old "Hello grandma, I'm calling from jail in ____ and I need your help now." While it's not new, there are still new victims to the ploy.
Callers are attempting to convince their intended victims a grandchild has been jailed, often in a foreign country, and requires an immediate wire transfer of funds to secure their release and safety. There is usually a very short time frame given for the funds to be wired to ensure the safety of the grandchild. The caller may be very convincing and threatening. They sometimes represent themselves as bail bondsmen and use different names during each contact. Police have also received reports of persons representing themselves as the actual grandchild and pleading and crying for the grandparent to assist.
Calls appear to be occurring randomly. Citizens are advised to exercise due caution anytime they are wiring money to someone they do not know. In most cases the suspect has not even been able to give the name of the grandchild who needs assistance. Elderly persons in particular should be cautioned regarding sending money to anyone they do not know regardless of the circumstances.