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MSP warns of scam targeting Michigan grandparents that impacted Van Buren couple

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West Michigan grandparents are advised by state troopers to guard themselves against a scam that recently affected a Van Buren Charter Township couple. (WWMT/Michigan.gov)

West Michigan grandparents were advised by state troopers to guard themselves against a scam that recently affected a Van Buren Charter Township couple.

Troopers from the Michigan State Police Paw Paw post said Michiganders should call law enforcement before acting on any suspicious phone calls or communication.

According to a written statement from MSP, the couple had received a phone call from someone pretending to be their granddaughter. The scammer said she had been arrested after a crash and asked the couple to call her friend's father, who she said was a lawyer.

When the couple did as the scammer asked, another scammer, pretending to be a lawyer, told them their granddaughter needed $12,000 to bail her out. They agreed and the scammer said he would send someone to their house to pick up the money.

The next day, the scammer called back and told the couple they would have to pay $14,000 more due to an issue. However, the couple's actual granddaughter stopped by their house and told them they had been scammed, thwarting the second attempt.

State troopers reminded Michiganders to record as much information as possible about a potential scammer so they can provide it to police.

Other scams that were common included callers claiming they were from the United States Department of Treasury, or offering COVID-19 stimulus payments in exchange for personal information or gift cards.

Fraudulent activity could be reported online to the Federal Trade Commission or the FBI.