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Scammers posing as grandkids in need continue to prey on compassion of elderly

Scammers posing as grandkids in need continue to prey on compassion of elderly

(Scams) Permanent link

We have been warning seniors about “grandparent scams” since 2008, but grandparents continue to wire money to these imposters because it’s hard to say no when Johnny calls desperate for money to help him out of a bad situation.

Most recently, an 87-year-old man told Q13 Fox that he wired $3,000 to hire a lawyer in Peru to help his “grandson” who had been in an accident and was in jail. Imagine his surprise when his real grandson called the next day and had no idea what he was talking about. Watch the video.

As a reminder, here are some tips to avoid falling victim to a similar scam:GrandmaPhone

  • Don’t fill in the blanks for the scammer. Always ask callers to identify themselves by name and ask individuals who contact you to provide information that only you and people close to you would know.
  • Do whatever is necessary to confirm the real relative’s whereabouts. Call the friend or relative claiming to need your help to confirm whether the story is true, using a phone number you know to be genuine. If you aren’t able to contact the person, call other friends or family members to confirm the situation.
  • Don’t send money unless you have verified that your relative is really in trouble. If a caller asks for your bank account number or urges you to send money via Western Union or MoneyGram for any reason, that’s a good indication of a scam. Cons prefer wire transfers because they are fast, there are transfer agents in most communities and funds can be picked up in multiple locations. If you have wired money and it hasn't been picked up yet, call the wire transfer service to cancel the transaction. Once the money has been picked up, there is no way to get it back.

Posted by Sarah Lane All Consuming Blog Moderator at 01/13/2012 03:22:20 PM | 


I manage an elderly apartment complex in Goldendale, Wa (Simcoe Manor).
I have a tenant who is being harassed practically 24-7 to get his private information. I called the number and they hung up on me when I started asking questions. I could not get the name of the business or company. I have their phone # 713-777-2500. Could you possibly find out if this a legitimate business? They denied calling him till I told them I got their number from *69 and they hung up on me. [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: This is a scam. The best thing to do is not answer the phone when they call. Eventually they will stop calling.]
Posted by: Pamela Gasca ( Email ) at 1/16/2012 11:33 AM


Unbelievable, my mother just fell for the very same scam. She believed her niece Diane was arrested and the police needed money so she would not stay in Jail. This occurred in Amherst, MA. However, they wanted the money to be wired to Peru, So. America...and she did!!!!She spent $4000 + and if it wasnt for Bank employees, she would have sent them another $6,000. Why are the elderly so gullible? She would never give her own children this kind of cash!!! Frustrated...her daughter.
Posted by: Lauren Crafts ( Email ) at 2/11/2012 12:23 PM


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