Ulster County District Attorney Holley Carnright is warning seniors of phony "emergency" call scams in which grandparents are called and asked to wire money to help a grandchild who is in "trouble".  One such call on December 8, 2017 resulted in a senior citizen being scammed out of $4,000 according to Patrick Long, Ulster County Senior Consumer Advocate.  The Ulster County Division of Consumer Affairs has provided a list of warning signs that possibly indicate that the call is a scam:

  • An urgent call for financial help with an emergency such as a car crash, medical emergency or trouble with the law;
  • A request to send money by wire transfer via Western Union or Money Gram because it is like sending cash and it is impossible to recover;
  • A request to keep the call confidential.

Carnright's office said that the scam artists can sometimes trick their victims into mentioning names or they might already have them through the use of social media.  The district attorney is asking that people be skeptical when receiving a possible scam call.  Including skepticism, Carnright advises against rushing to send money or provide bank account information but rather try to reach family members before making any transfers.

Ulster County residents that have information regarding possible scam calls are urged to contact the Ulster County Department of Consumer Affairs at 845-340-3260.