A tribal elder in Inchelium lost $900 to a phone scam.

The scammer targets people using their grandchildren’s names, creating a back story that they’re in trouble and asks for upwards of $500 to help them. They also use voice acting to try to convince loved ones their grandchild is on the other end of the line.

Frances Charette, of Inchelium, was a target who didn’t fall for the scam. The caller, who identified as a lawyer, said her grandson Robbie Ferguson had been in a car wreck. They wanted $500 or he was going to jail, and asked her to get a cashier’s check at the bank and a federal bondsman would pick it up.

“They do sound convincing. They said (my grandson) was talking and had a neck brace on because he back-ended somebody,” Charette told the Tribune Oct. 9. “But after I told them it sounds like a scam, he said (expletive) you and hung up.”

Charette warns the caller uses a private number that doesn’t appear on caller ID.

The Colville Tribal Police Department stated it was unaware of the scam.

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