Granite School District issues warning of scam targeting parents

Oct 9, 2023, 6:55 PM | Updated: 7:26 pm

SOUTH SALT LAKE — The Granite School District is warning families about new phone scams targeting parents while their child is in class. And the scammers seem to know just enough information to convince parents the situation might be real.

Granite School District spokesperson Ben Horsley said in one scam, a parent receives a phone call that their child was kidnapped on the way to school and asks the parent for a ransom to keep the child alive and safe.

While some would immediately see the rampant red flags, Horsley pointed out that the scammers had information like the child’s name and school to sound legitimate.

One father recently fell for the scam, he explained.

“The father was not sure that his child had even gotten to school,” Horsley said.

Because he was on the phone, the dad didn’t have a quick way to check if his son was in class. In the meantime, the scammers were threatening harm.

“He was very frightened and trying to get to the school. But it was on the other end of the valley,” Horsley said. “So, didn’t feel like he could hang up with the scammer and call the school to make sure that his child was okay.”

The father ended up forking over money, Horsley said.

A second scam in the Granite School District

Horsley explained a second scam they’re seeing pop up, where a parent receives a call from the school district’s actual phone number.

“Indicating that their child has been severely injured,” he said, of the nature of the call. “In this particular case, [the child] had been hit by a car allegedly, and the school was notifying them. And so the parent was very concerned about their child’s well-being.”

Horsley said the number was a spoof. It’s unclear how scammers planned to try to push the parent into paying in that instance.

Part of what made these seem so real, he explained, was the fact that the scammers had information on the children.

“They were pulling information from off of social media,” he said. “Always keep your content private.”

He said parents should only post privately on social media. And avoid posting information about your child, like where they attend school or the name of their teacher.

Horsley said anyone who gets a scam call like this can text the Granite Police Dispatch number at 801-664-2929 and ask if their child is in class. A dispatcher can check while the parent is on the phone with the potential scammers. And can also help the parent gather info about the scammers that may help police.

In the case of the father who thought his son was kidnapped on the way to school, Horsley said the dad actually drove to the school and the school brought his son out, safe and sound.

But by then, he’d already sent money.

“I think scammers could potentially be preying on that vulnerability,” Horsley said, “That emotional vulnerability that would come to any parent who feels or fears that their child might be in any sort of danger.”
Read more:

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

Follow @KSL5TVLike us on Facebook...

Andrew Adams

Cameras capture man trying to break into Saratoga Springs home, trailer

A homeowner on Tuesday was hoping to identify the stranger who spent roughly 30 minutes on his property overnight Sunday and tried to enter his home multiple times before entering his trailer.

8 minutes ago

Alta resort...

Eliza Pace

Utah’s ski industry contributed $1.94 billion in nonresident visitor spending during the 2022/23 season

Out of state visitors spent a record of $1.94 billion at Utah ski areas during the 2022/2023 ski season, according to data from the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute. 

52 minutes ago

(KSL TV)...

Casey Scott

Casey Scott gives away gas cards and Olympic swag 100 days before Paris Games

We're now less than 100 days away from the 2024 Paris Olympics, so Casey Scott also had some Olympic swag to give away!

1 hour ago

(Brian Champagne, KSL TV)...

Josh Ellis

Rap artist NBA YoungBoy arrested in Utah on various drug, weapons charges

Rap artist NBA YoungBoy was arrested in northern Utah for investigation of multiple drug and weapons charges.

2 hours ago

IOC excludes Russian and Belarusian athletes from Paris 2024 Olympics opening ceremonies....

Matt Gephardt

Get Gephardt: How to stay ahead of the 2024 Olympics scams

As Utahns know firsthand from 2002, the Olympics can be a bit chaotic with millions in an unfamiliar place. The situation is sure to entice opportunistic con men with Olympic scams.

14 hours ago

overview of Moab, a city nestled in red rock...

Daniel Woodruff

New Moab development aims to put dent in workforce housing crisis

When we talk about Utah’s housing crisis, one of the most extreme examples is Moab. Housing there is scarce and expensive, especially for the workers who keep the tourist town running.

15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Granite School District issues warning of scam targeting parents