Grandparent Scammers Target Sheriff

photo of woman showing her cellphone to her grandmother

I’ve told you before about so-called “Grandparent scammers.”

A grandparent scam is when crooks  Scammers target people with phone calls, emails, or Facebook messages saying that a loved one is in trouble.

Sometimes, they’ll claim legal trouble. A loved one needs money for bail or an attorney or to pay some type of fine. Other times, the loved one is injured. Money is needed to pay for hospital bills or an ambulance ride home. Whatever the trouble, it’s always urgent and the money is needed immediately.

Well, these crooks recently happened to target the Sheriff of Shelby County, Ohio and he made a heartfelt Facebook post about it that I thought I’d share with you:

Today while sitting at my desk in the office, my phone rings. I don’t recognize the number, which was 937-490-1821. The male caller’s voice was shaking and appeared as if they were sobbing, the caller said “dad I’m in bad shape, I’ve been in an accident”, now having four boys, it’s running through my head which one is it. So the male caller kept saying the same phrase. I’m asking who is this, to try to find out which one of my sons it is. When the caller couldn’t answer they hung up, it was at this moment I realized it was a scam. Just to be sure I had my daughter contact all of the boys and make sure they were all OK, which they were.

I tried to call the number back because I wanted to chock the living shit out of them, but the number had a message that it was not in service. Even as a trained law enforcement officer, there for a moment my heart fluttered thinking one of my children were in an accident and needed their father. I was even trying to listen to the voice trying to determine which son it was because the caller sounded like two of my boys.

I can see how people get caught up in these scams. If these people knew who they were calling and knew one of the names of my sons, they may have been to at least give me a scare. Of course, I wouldn’t have sent any money as I would have responded to where they were.

We have to be mindful of the phone calls we receive, ask the right questions to verify what the caller is saying, ask questions that only the true person would know, and never ever send money or give out your personal information.

It’s a shame we have to deal with these people, but always be on your guard, and I can’t stress enough, please never send money or go obtain pre-loaded credit or gift cards.

Stay alert, as new scams are occurring every day. Don’t fall prey to these people. If you receive a call that you feel we should know about, don’t hesitate to give your local law enforcement a call.

Again, please stay alert.

Thank you,


James R. Frye


Shelby County Sheriff’s Office

Sheriff Frye, I couldn’t have said it better.

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