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Zoey_JD, Criminal attorney
Category: Fraud Examiner
Satisfied Customers: 23579
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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A person posing as a family member called 4-12-2016 at 12:40

Customer Question

a person posing as a family member called 4-12-2016 at 12:40 p.m. stating they had been in a wreck and convienced us to send them $2,500.00 by using Apple iTunes gift card.
We stupidly did this, only later to realize he was not a family member. Is there anything you can do to help us? ( I have typed a report of the activities)
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Fraud Examiner
Expert:  Zoey_JD replied 7 months ago.
Hello, This is a well-known scam, known as the "grandparent" scam, because grandparents are particularly susceptible to it. It is a particularly insidious scam, preying on the feelings of loved ones and making them worry senselessly about the well-being of their loved ones. The FBI warns of this scam here.Someone has hacked into your relative's computer or Facebook account. That's how this starts. Then he reaches out to all of your relative's contacts and claims that there's an emergency for which you have to send some money immediately.It's the kind of request which, you can see for yourself, gets very quick results. They ask for payment via a method which will get to them instantly and which will be untraceable. Usually that involves Western Union, MoneyGram or a Green Dot money Pak Card. Once you give them the number they need, they claim it immediately, and the transaction is irreversible. By the time you calm down, make some phone calls, and find your family member is just fine, you're out the money, and you won't see it again.Contact your relative and tell him that his address list has been hacked so that he can take proper precautions against identity theft. Then report the fraud to the FBI at If you have sent money, report it as well to your police. The odds of you getting your money back are low as these folks can be anyone, anywhere in the world. However, by reporting the crime you warn others. Also, your unreimbursed losses are deductible when you're the victim of a crime, so you can recover some of your money back in the form of a tax deduction when you file your taxes next year.