An elderly Sioux Falls resident was scammed out of $18,000, falling victim to a Grandparents scam, where the suspect claims to be a grandchild in trouble and asks for money.

According to Officer Sam Clemens, the caller claimed to need money after a car accident. Typically, once the scammer gets a first payment of money, they come back for more. The victim initially sent $10,000, and received a second call the following day, asking for $8,000, which was also provided.

The victim, 79, later contacted the grandchild, discovered the scam, and reported it to police on Wednesday (August 22).
Clemens says the Grandparents Scam has been around for years, and although $18,000 is one of the higher dollar amounts paid out, other victims have paid more. The thieves claiming to be a family member often ask for money in the form of gift cards or re-loadable credit cards. Scammers often describe a scenario of a car accident, medical emergency, or legal trouble.

Police say before sending money, check first with the person who is claiming to be the one asking for help, another family member or a trusted friend.


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