Johnson County man falls victim to ‘grandparent scam,’ buys $2,000 in iTunes cards

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SAN FRANCISCO - DECEMBER 29: iTunes song gift cards are seen on display at a Best Buy store December 29, 2005 in San Francisco, California. Retailers experience a rise in gift card sales this holiday season and hope that customers will redeem them during post holiday sales since gift cards do not register as a sale until they are redeemed. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. (April 1, 2016) – A Johnson County man fell victim to the infamous “grandparent scam” this week and lost $2,000 in the process.

According to an incident report from Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, a deputy was dispatched to a Greenwood home on Thursday in response to a fraud case.

They spoke to Donald Delon, 83, who’d received a phone call saying his grandson had been arrested and needed to be bailed out of jail. In order to do that, Delon would have to buy $2,000 in iTunes gift cards, the caller said. The caller had identified himself as “Sergeant Hammond.”

Delon purchased the cards and provided “Sergeant Hammond” with the card information; the caller said his grandson would be released from jail.

Delon then spoke to his son-in-law about the call; the son-in-law tried to use the cards before someone else had a chance to use them. The cards had already been spent, the report said.

They contacted Apple to report the fraud; the company gave them a case number and told them to file a fraud report with their local police department.

The “grandparent scam” has been going around for years now. Scammers target grandparents with emails and phone calls; sometimes they claim a grandchild has been arrested and needs money to be bailed out. In other cases, the caller will pose as the actual grandchild and say they’ve been arrested or mugged and need money.

The FBI has more information about the scam here.