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Mason City police warn the “grandparent scam” still popular, cost one citizen $4K

MASON CITY – A citizen was duped out of $4,000 by the ever-popular grandparent scam, Mason City police say, in which an elaborate array of callers dupe a soft-hearted family member.

The grandparent scam continues to be a popular way for con-artists to take advantage of seniors and other family members, the Mason City police department said in a statement Wednesday.

“We took a report recently from a victim who had a loss of $4,000 due to this type of scam,” the statement outlined. “In that case, the scammers were very sophisticated, using multiple callers, who were male and female, portraying a family member in need as well as a police officer, and calling back for more money once the victim had been on the hook once.”

Police warn to avoid these types of scams, and if you receive a call from a grandchild “in dire need, make sure they are who they say they are. Double check the story by calling that person back at a number you know is theirs or by calling their parents. Also remember that government entities such as courts will not ask for or accept payment in the form of gift cards. That is an obvious sign of a scam.”

Police also advised grandchildren to “talk to your grandparents and parents about this type of scam. The more we all talk to each other about these scams, the more easily we can protect ourselves.”

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