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Beware of fraudulent calls


They may ask for money to keep a family member out of jail

The Kent County Sheriff Department is urging residents to use caution when receiving calls from people they don’t know that are requesting money.

On August 1, at approximately 6:45 p.m., the Kent County Sheriff Department responded to the residence of an elderly female who made a fraud complaint. She was contacted by an unknown man, believed to be from the country of Columbia. She was told that a family member had been drinking and was involved in an auto accident. It was also suggested to her that the accident involved a Columbian family. The caller requested the victim send money via Western Union to keep her family member out of jail. The caller requested multiple Western Union transactions be made with the destination of the funds being Columbia. The caller’s phone number also showed up on the victim’s caller I.D. as an out of country phone number.

It was verified that the victim’s family was not involved in an accident and the information the caller had provided the victim was false.

Police said that similar scams have taken place recently in the Western Michigan area where the caller requests that prepaid credit cards be obtained and then the card numbers are provided to the suspect.

These individuals have been able to scam thousands of dollars from local residents.

The Kent County Sheriff Department says anyone receiving a call like this should contact a family member or the police to verify the caller is legitimate prior to sending any funds to any individual they are not familiar with.

If you have any information regarding this incident, please contact the Kent County Sheriff Department Dispatch at 616-632-6357.

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