SPARTA, NJ – The Sparta Police Department is warning the community of a scam they are calling “Grandparent Scam.”  This is a phone scam that is affecting Sparta residents.

According to police, scammers call elderly victims and tell them their grandchild is in trouble; injured or in danger.  The scammers then ask the victim to purchase a gift card for a specified amount of money.

Once the card is purchased the scammers ask the victim to read them the card number, giving the scammers access to the money on the gift card, police report.

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Some of the stories scammers use to trick their victims include a grandchild getting into an accident in Canada, needing money to post bail.  The scammers even have someone get on the phone to try to fool the victim into thinking it is their grandchild, police report.

Once the grandparent finds out the grandchild was never in any trouble the money is already gone from the card, police report.

According to police, most of the scams originate overseas so there is little chance anyone will be caught or prosecuted in the “theft by deception” scam. 

Sparta Police ask that anyone receiving this type of call first contact the Sparta Police Department or check with a family member or friend before sending any money, cashier checks, money orders or gift cards to strangers over the phone.