8/7/22 Grandparent Scams Are Still Occurring
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8/7/22 Grandparent Scams Are Still Occurring

by | Aug 7, 2022 | Firm News

I’ve posted about this before. The grandparent scam is a favorite for criminals because it works. In fact, they tried it with my mother who stayed on the phone with the fraudster much longer than I would have liked but she didn’t fall for it. As with any scam the best thing to do is to not answer the call and second-best thing to do is to hang up if you do take the call. Here is a recent post from the AARP Fraud Watch Network:
Grandparents love their grandchildren, and criminals love to take advantage of that for their insidious financial gain. Indeed, scammers continue to find ways to put new spins on an old scam to target grandparents’ hearts and wallets.

How It Works
• The Grandparent Scam starts with a call, text, email or message on social media claiming to be your grandchild or someone reaching out on behalf of your grandchild who needs your help urgently.
• They will say that your grandchild was in an accident or may be in the hospital — they may even tell you that your grandchild hurt someone and is now in jail.
• They’ll ask you to send money right away — often through a money transfer or by purchasing gift cards and sharing the activation information on the back of the cards.
What You Should Know
• Criminals have relied on this scam for many years, refreshing the details over time, in hopes a grandparent’s love and concern will drive them to act quickly.
• The contact may come late at night — scammers hope their targets will be more likely to believe their story if they aren’t fully awake.
• The criminal may have scoured the target’s social media profile to arm themselves with family information that may lend credence to their ploy.
• The scammers will typically offer just enough detail to make the story seem convincing — they may even give the phone to another scammer who will claim to be a doctor, police officer or lawyer.
What You Should Do
• Disengage immediately. Call your grandchild or other family members to confirm they are safe.
• Know that sharing activation information off gift cards is not a legitimate form of payment — anytime this request comes your way, disengage.
• Make sure social media privacy settings are set so that only friends and family can see your posts and photos.