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National Consumer Protection Week Tip of the Day: Grandparents still being scammed

National Consumer Protection Week Tip of the Day: Grandparents still being scammed

(Scams, National Consumer Protection Week) Permanent link

2012 National CP Week ButtonIt’s National Consumer Protection Week. As part of this week’s event focusing on consumer education, we’re posting a daily consumer tip.

By now we hope you’ve heard about the Grandparent Scam. But did you know that the scheme continues to drain money from unwitting victims’ bank accounts? It does so by becoming deviously more sophisticated. A new twist involves a supposed grandchild or other relative who’s been arrested overseas and begs you not rat him out to his parents. He can’t talk long because a “police officer” picks up the phone and demands bail money be wired immediately.

In yet another version, a hospitalized grandchild imposter calls from an overseas hospital. He’s been hurt in a drunken driving accident and asks, “Please don’t tell my parents?” He also can’t talk for long because a “doctor” picks up the phone and says that his patient needs to rest. However, you must wire money immediately or your loved one can’t be treated.

Did you notice the new twist? In both instances, you won’t be able to speak to your supposed relative for very long—meaning you are less likely to notice that you don’t actually know this person.

In both cases, or in similar incarnations of the story, the fraudster takes advantage of your desire to help a relative in distress. The crooks are very good at acting like they know you. And in both cases, you’ll wire money to a foreign country—to a person whom you are absolutely not related—and the money is gone for good.

Remember, do not wire money to anyone without verifying for certain—and we mean certain—that it's someone you know. Call their parents or anyone else who can verify the grandchild’s whereabouts. Call the grandchild’s home and cell numbers. You’ll likely discover that he or she is very much safe and sound. Although the grandchild still might want money. Write a check and hand it over in person.
And if you have lost money in a wire transfer scam such as this one, please file a complaint with our office.

-Dan Sytman-

Posted by Public Affairs Unit at 03/07/2012 03:24:27 PM | 

I am outraged and shocked by what these people are doing.How can people act in this way towards elderly people.Not just the financial loss but it must also be a huge emotional drain on the person who receives one of these phone calls.
I hope they change the law and give people who are convicted of this crime the maximum penalty possible.
Posted by: David Williams ( Email ) at 3/8/2012 10:39 AM

This happened to my grandmother today and I am outraged. I can not believe they would do that to an 86 year-old-woman! She did not lose money but they caused her a lot of grief, having someone pose as my sister and talk to her and also asking if there was any words she wanted to say to her. Luckily, when she hung up she got a hold of my sister right away. I hope these bad guys can be caught!!
Posted by: Dani ( Email ) at 3/9/2012 3:31 PM

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