Crime Alert – Grandparent Telephone Scam

Menomonee Falls Crime Alert

Recently, the Menomonee Falls Police Department and surrounding agencies have received complaints of telephone scams in which a scammer will call claiming to be a police officer demanding bail for a relative, a relative calling for bail money or a kidnapper demanding ransom.
These types of scams have been around for years and typically target the elderly. Victims will be directed to transfer money through a money wiring service to a location outside of the United States.
The scam and scam artists have become more sophisticated. Thanks to the Internet and social networking sites, a criminal can sometimes uncover personal information about their targets, which makes the impersonations more believable.

Common scenarios have included a grandparent receives a phone call or an e-mail from a “grandchild” or “police officer.”  Usually, the person claims to be traveling in a foreign country and has gotten into a bad situation, like being arrested for drugs or getting in a car accident and needs money wired. While it’s commonly called the grandparent scam, criminals may also claim target anyone that answers the phone.

What to Do

  • Resist the pressure to act quickly.
  • Try to contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether or not the call is legitimate.
  • Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an e-mail…especially overseas. Wiring money is like giving cash—once you send it, you can’t get it back.


If you are a victim of a scam please contact the Menomonee Falls Police Department immediately at (262) 532-8700.