Better Business Bureau warns of new financial scam

The Wichita branch of the Better Business Bureau is alerting residents – particularly families of military personnel – to be aware of a new twist on an old financial scam.

The often-used “grandparent scam” typically involved someone receiving a call by a person posing as their grandchild. The caller claims to need financial assistance in order to be bailed out of trouble.

A local grandparent was recently called by an individual claiming to be his grandchild stationed at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson. The story was that the young man was jailed for fishing illegally in Barcelona, Spain. A follow-up call, supposedly from the American Consulate, asked for $2,350 to be wired through Western Union by the grandfather.

But the man called the Wichita Better Business Bureau office in an effort to verify whether the calls were valid. The Wichita office then called the Tucson Better Business Bureau, which in turn contacted Davis-Monthan AFB. Base officials verified the grandchild was present and not overseas.

Scams of this nature play on a person’s natural concern for their loved ones, bureau officials said. Anyone receiving such calls should contact the bureau before sending funds. The local office can be reached at 316-263-3146.