DALLAS -- The Dallas Police Department is warning area residents about a number of telephone scams targeting senior citizens.
The most common scam seems to be the perpetrator who claims to be a grandchild of the citizen contacted, reports he or she has been arrested for DUII or been involved in a traffic collision, and needs money right away. In this particular scam, the perpetrator will most often request money be sent by Western Union to one of several locations in Canada.
A call-center has been established for citizens who suspect they have received a scam call from Canada. A person can report the incident to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Center toll free, 1-888-495-8501. A Web page has also been set up at http://phonebusters.com/
According to Dallas Police, persons who make these fraudulent calls are frequently very convincing. One method is for the initial caller to identify himself as a police officer from somewhere in Canada, then pass the phone to the person who claims to be the grandchild. Details about this specific type of scam can be found on the Web page.
Citizens who receive calls they suspect are scams are cautioned to be very careful not to release personal information, as the callers are crafty. Some have reported extremely convincing phone calls because the caller used the name of an actual grandchild. During subsequent discussions with police, victims have realized they actually provided the first name of the grandchild without realizing it.
Anyone who receives such a call can call the telephone number or visit the Web page above to provide information to the task force. Anytime you receive a questionable call from a police agency, get the name and rank of the person you are talking to as well as the location and name of the police agency and a callback phone number. Then, prior to calling back, retrieve the number for that agency through regular means and call to confirm the authenticity.