North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice

North Carolina Department of Justice
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Beware Fake Cops, Kidnappers, and Relatives

Thursday, December 28, 2017

When crooks try to trick you with an imposter scam, they usually use scare tactics. In grandparent scams, also known as family emergency scams, the fear is that your grandchild or relative is in trouble and needs your help in a hurry. A variation of this scam targets grandparents of those serving in the military.

Kidnapping scammers also try to exploit family bonds. These crooks claim to have taken one of your loved ones captive and they demand a speedy ransom payment. Fear of being arrested is the threat behind the jury duty scam, where crooks pretending to be court officials or law enforcement claim you’re due to be detained today for skipping jury duty.

If you are contacted by any of these scammers they’ll be sure to explain how to pay, but don’t let fear steer you into a bad decision. Remember, your loved ones are fine and you can usually confirm that with a few quick phone calls. And real law enforcement officials will never call you to threaten arrest.

We’re partnering with a variety of agencies and organization this holiday season, including the Better Business Bureau, to help consumers protect themselves against scammers. For more information, visit our “Don’t Get Taken in the Season of Giving” website.

If you think you’ve been victimized by any scam, file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division or call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM.