DA Seal
San Joaquin County
District Attorney's Office
Consumer ALERT

March 11, 2020

The “Grandparent Scheme” Is Still Happening

The District Attorney Consumer Fraud Hotline (209-953-7730) receives reports on all types of scams. One of the worst targets elderly grandparents who may not have seen their grandchild recently.

We were contacted by an elderly couple one afternoon who had received a call from a “Steve Young” of “Brandford & Associates”, who said their grandson was in an Oakland “holding facility”, going to jail for a fender bender. They were told they needed to send “Mr. Young” $14,000 in cash by FedEx to an address in Antioch, Tennessee, to get him released today and save his record.

Frightened GrandparentsThe husband luckily thought something fishy was going on, and called the Fraud Hotline. We were able to talk them into taking at least an hour, to give them time to reach their grandson, to make sure he was ok before they sent any money.  If they could not in that hour reach him, they were instructed to call us back and we would help them track their grandson down so they could help get him out.  Within 10 minutes, the wife called back. Sure enough their grandson was at work and fine.  

The District Attorney’s office actually called the number provided and it was answered as “Brandford & Associates” but upon questioning about their location and what they could do, they hung up. We have contacted the Nashville Police Department to alert them of the address for this illegal scam.

These grandparents live in Stockton and were very scared that their grandson was in trouble. They did not want to give us their names, but were willing to send out $14,000 to a complete stranger! Unfortunately, they are not alone on the list of potential victims being targeted by an IMPOSTER SCAM.

In 2019, Imposter Scams cost consumers more than $667 million dollars. Imposters often pretend to be calling from the government or well-known business, a romantic interest, or a family member with an emergency. Don’t be fooled!

  • If someone you’ve never heard of calls you asking for a large sum of cash – it’s probably a scam
  • Never give out banking or credit card information to someone who calls you
  • Don’t be rushed into sending money – even if it’s for someone you love
  • Write down the details such as the number and name of the caller so you can report them
  • Report the call by calling (209) 953-7730, or by going to ftc.gov/complaint