Beware of the “Grandparent” Scam

By Becky Clapes, Guest Blogger

Telephone and email scams are both vicious and persistent. They are often aimed at the elderly, who do not always have access to resources and information which would allow them to know the scam is just that, a scam. One of the more common telephone scams is known as the “grandparent scam”.

Scammers will call the elderly person pretending to be a grandchild. The scammer will open with, “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” The grandparent will then guess the name of the grandchild the scammer sounds most like, which allows the scammer to establish an identity.

The fake grandchild scammer will then ask the grandparent to send them money for travel, or bail, or medical expense, or something of the like. Typically the scammer will ask the money be paid via Western Union Money Transfer or some other form of money wire. The scam artist will then conclude by appealing to the grandparent’s need to help their grandchild by saying, “Please don’t tell my parents. I don’t want to get in trouble.”

To report an incident of fraud or scam, click here.

For more information on senior citizen scams, see the NCOA website.

For another blog post on telephone scams, see here.