Senior citizens in Marquette are being targeted by people who are claiming to be their own flesh and blood.
Scammers are pinpointing the elderly for an easy fortune, and it all starts with a simple phone call. Lately, the Marquette City Police have been receiving more reports of these money-hungry thieves.
It happens like this...
An elderly person receives a call from someone they believe is a family member. And it's not just an everyday conversation; they're claiming to be in trouble, and they're asking for money.
According to the Marquette City Police, the number of money scam-related crimes that target the elderly is increasing.
"This is becoming a monthly event when we're hearing things like this. We've handled some cases where thousands of dollars have been sent overseas because grandson's in the hospital, granddaughter's been arrested and needs bond money. All different kinds of ruses, and sometimes they tweak them and make them a little bit better, but we're seeing it quite often."
Almost all of the scams that the Marquette City Police have seen have requested the money overseas.
If you send under $3000 with Western Union, the receiver just has to answer a simple security question to get the money, making it easy for scammers.
Just this morning at the Marquette Check and Cash, an elderly couple wanted to wire money to their grandson who was supposedly in Mexico. Even though the employees told them it was probably a scam, they still wouldn't take no for an answer.
"It's tough to try to convince them that they're being scammed. And you don't want to see them out-moneyed. I felt horrible today when she called and said, 'You were right.' I didn't want to be right, but we know what we're looking for," said Check and Cash Sales Representative Ciara Seekie.
The employees at Check and Cash are giving a bit of advice to anyone who receives a phone call or email from "a relative" asking for money.
"Never send to anyone you don't know, never to someone in a different country if you don't know anyone who lives in that country. You need to make sure you know who you're sending to," Seekie added.