Home >

September 8, 2017
For More Information, contact:
Luther Strange
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Alabama Attorney General
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Page 1 of 1

(MONTGOMERY) -Attorney General Luther Strange said his office has received
recent calls about a recurring fraud in which the scammer pretends to be a grandchild
or other relative in trouble and in need of money.
Generally, the target is an elderly person and the caller claims a crisis such as
being in jail, being stranded away from home, being hospitalized or having an urgent
debt that must be paid. The caller asks the person to keep the matter confidential and to
wire money or buy a prepaid credit or debit card. The current twist is asking the person
to use an iTunes card for payment. Other variations involve requests for Amazon gift
cards, PayPal, or other prepaid cards.
“These thieves are preying upon elderly people who may not be familiar with
what iTunes cards are, and would not realize it is not a legitimate request,” said
Attorney General Strange. “They try to create panic about a loved one’s emergency, and
push for immediate action before the victim has a chance to give the matter thought and
take precautions.”
The Federal Trade Commission advises people to resist the urge to act
immediately and to verify the emergency if they receive such a call. It is recommended
to ask questions that only the real relative could actually answer, and to check out the
story even if you have been asked to keep it a secret. Furthermore, an iTunes card
should not be required for payment unless one is shopping at an iTunes store, and not
for a crisis situation.
Those who are targeted by such scams are urged to report the matter to the FTC
at ftc.gov/complaint, or to contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Interest Division
by calling toll-free 1-800-392-5658 or through the Attorney General’s website at
501 Washington Avenue * Montgomery, AL 36104 * (334) 242-7300