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Not everyone using online dating sites is looking for love. Scammers create fake online profiles using photos of other people — even stolen pictures of real military personnel. They profess their love quickly.

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The Attorney General provides Consumer Alerts to inform the public of unfair, misleading, or deceptive business practices, and to provide information and guidance on other issues of concern. Consumer Alerts are not legal advice, legal authority, or a binding legal opinion from the Department of Attorney General. If you have an e-mailthen you have received an e-mail trying to trick you into some form of a counterfeit check scam.

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The caller asks for money to be wire transferred. Reporting fraud can also help protect other consumers by assisting money transfer companies to identify and take appropriate action against agents who do not take reasonable steps to reduce fraud induced transfers.

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You should hang up and call another family member who can confirm your child or grandchild's whereabouts. A common theme of all versions of the scam is the caller's request for the parent or grandparent to wire money through Western Union or MoneyGram or to provide bank routing s.

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Ask for the money transfer to be reversed. In yet another variation of the scam, parents get calls from scammers saying, "I've kidnapped your relative," and naming a brother, sister, child or parent.

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The supposed grandchild claims to be involved in some type of trouble while traveling in Canada or overseas, such as being arrested or in a car accident or needing emergency car repairs, and asks the grandparent to immediately wire money to post bail or pay for medical treatment or car repairs. Consumer Protection Division P. Some functions of this site are disabled for browsers blocking jQuery. Alternatively, the scammer may pretend to be a family friend or neighbor. As in the Family Emergency Scam, con artists will lie, cheat, steal, and make up plausible stories to convince you to wire money or divulge sensitive information.

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Across the nation, con artists are scamming parents and grandparents out of thousands of dollars by claiming an urgent emergency involving or grandchild, posing as kidnappers demanding ransom or grandchildren in distress. Scammers may also check Facebook or other social networking websites to learn about someone's vacation plans, especially during spring and summer months when many families take vacationsand then contact that person's grandparent pretending to be the real grandchild.

There are different variations of this scam. If you've wired money to a scam artist, call the money transfer company immediately to report the fraud and file a complaint. In addition, if the request for money involved a wire transfer to Canada, Canadian officials in the Anti-Fraud Call Center ask victims to report the fraud at their PhoneBusters hotline at or on their PhoneBuster's website.

Stay calm and avoid acting out of a sense of urgency.

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Wiring money is like sending cash; there are no protections for the sender. Be suspicious when you receive a telephone call where:. A grandchild calls you from a far away location. For instance, the senior answers the phone, the scammer says something like, "Hi Grandma, it's me, your favorite grandchild," the grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the caller sounds most like, and the scammer takes on that grandchild's identity for the remainder of the call.

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He or she may claim embarrassment about the alleged trouble and ask the grandparent to keep it a secret. In addition, never give out any personal identifying information such as bank or credit card s to anyone who calls you on the phone. The FBI calls this 'virtual kidnapping'.

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Typically there is no way you can reverse the transaction, trace the money, or recover payment from the telephone con artists. Names, addresses, birth dates, and telephone s are easily obtained online. It's unlikely to happen, but it's important to ask.

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Try calling them at the telephone through which you normally reach him or her. Close Search Box. Official Website of Michigan. The grandchild is in some trouble or some type of distress.

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Often, a grandparent receives a frantic call from someone they believe to be their grandchild. The grandchild says, "It's me," or "It's your grandson," or "It's your favorite grandchild.

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The supposed grandchild sounds distressed and may be calling from a noisy location. The scammer typically asks for several thousand dollars, and may even call back again several hours or days later asking for more money.

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Another possibility is that the scammers are calling telephone s randomly until they reach a senior citizen. If you receive such a call, you should verify the identity and location of the child or grandchild claiming to be in trouble. It is possible that the scammers are finding their targets on the Internet.

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The cons use the details to pick a target and make their calls sound credible. A variation of the scam may involve two scammers -- the first scammer calls and poses as a grandchild under arrest. The second scammer, posing as some type of law enforcement officer, then gets on the phone with the grandparent and explains what fines need to be paid.

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In some cases, the senior citizen unknowingly "fills in the blanks" for the thief. The callers are often professional criminals who are skillfully able to get you to wire money or give personal information before you have time to properly assess the situation. Do not wire money unless you have verified with an independent third party that your child or grandchild is truly in trouble.