KINGMAN – The state Attorney General’s Office is warning Arizonans of a friends-and-family scam, where scammers pose as a friend or family member in trouble in an attempt to have money sent their way.
According to an AG press release, the scammer will likely request that the issue be kept secret from other family members.
“Scammers prey on the kindness and generosity you have for your friends and family in order to steal your hard-earned money,” the release states.
There are a few warnings signs people should watch for to ensure they hold onto their money. The first is being randomly contacted by someone claiming to be a family member or friend, who then asks for money to help get through an emergency such as an arrest, accident or medical bill.
Arizonans should also be weary of how they are contacted, as it will likely be done via phone, email, mail or a social media account. Being contacted at odd hours is another red flag, as is being asked to send money immediately.
The Attorney General’s Office has some tips for how people can protect themselves from these scams, the first of which is resisting the urge to act immediately. People should also ask as many questions as possible in an attempt to verify the individual is who they claim to be. However, the AG’s office warns that birthdays, addresses and ages are information that scammers can easily find. Travel itineraries fit that bill as well.
Contacting a family member of the person who the caller claims to be is a good way to verify their identity, and so is directly contacting the individual the scammer claims to be, if possible. If there’s any doubt about the caller’s identify, money should not be sent.
Information provided by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office