Two old scams are circulating the Spokane area again, and law enforcement investigators want to remind residents that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


In the first instance, an east Spokane County man was contacted by a caller who advised him he had won two million dollars.  All the resident had to do to collect his winnings was to wire $300 to the caller to cover shipping and handling (of two million dollars?)


The resident received a second call telling him to send the $300 to a Montego Bay, Jamaica address.  The resident wisely declined.


If you receive a call about winning a lottery (typically, it’s the Canadian Lottery), ask yourself if you even entered a lottery.  Then hang up the phone and save yourself the shipping and handling fee.


In the second scam to hit this week, a man called an elderly woman and portrayed himself to be her grandson.  He said he had been arrested (in Canada again) for DUI and an accident, and now needed her to wire him $2,400 for a lawyer who would make it all go away.


The intended victim is hard of hearing and couldn’t determine if the man was really her grandson or not.  However, the suspect knew a fair amount of detail about the grandson, so she believed it was he.


Still, she ran it by her son when he returned to the home.  The son received a call from a second man telling him that he was the lawyer and that the money had to be wired immediately. 


The son left for the bank to get the cash, but as he drove there, recalled his son had been in the Eugene, Oregon area, not Canada.  He called the son/grandson and confirmed that he was still in there and not in custody in the Great White North.


The “grandchild in jail” scam is a common one and suspects nearly always target the elderly.  They may identify their intended victims by watching obituaries in the newspaper to determine who the surviving spouse is and if they have grandchildren.


 Anyone who gets a similar call for bail money should contact the troubled family member to determine if the call is valid or a hoax.

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