Last week, I finally went to the police station to file a police report because things are getting too much out of control. While I was there waiting for someone to assist me with the paper work, I saw a flyer with a Crime Alert for one of the Phone Scams called The Grandma Scam. This scam has been around for years and specifically targets the grandparents.
A Grandmother received a call from a young man claiming to be her grandson. He said that he was in Vancouver, Canada with a friend and had lost his money and needed her to wire him some money. The grandmother said it sounded like her grandson, he stated several times how much he loved her and appreciated her help. When she asked him if he had first contacted his father he said, no, he didn’t want to upset his father since he has been going through a difficult time. Unfortunately, this was not the victim’s grandson and over a two-day period the victim wired just under $4000.00 to the suspect.
The victim asked her grandson to call her when he got home the following day and let her know that he was safe. When the cal never came, the victim called her grandson. As she questioned her “real” grandson about his weekend activities, he was unclear what she was talking about, and it soon became apparent that she had been the victim of a scam.
Usually the story lines in these cases are very similar with some variations. The imposters make several cold calls until they get a victim on the hook. They will start a conversation with something like this “It’s me grandma (or grandpa), your favorite grandson” and the unsuspecting victim replies with the name of her/his grandson.
The imposters then go on to tell that they either lost a wallet, or they are in a car accident, or they are in the hospital and need money or whatever else comes to mind. Our grandparents love their favorite grandchildren! Of course, they will try to help.
What should you do if you or your parents or grandparents get this kind of a call saying “it’s me your favorite grandson” and ask you for money? The most prudent thing to do is probably ask for the number they are calling from and where they are located.
Then I would just hang up and call the numbers you already have. Call the parents of a grandchild to confirm the whereabouts. If the caller does not provide you with a number, it probably is a scam.
What if they give you a number? Still, hang up and call the number of your grandchild you have in your phone book already. You may find out that your “real” grandchild is doing well and never asked you for money.
These days, the scams, frauds and identity theft are on the rise because of the current financial situation. It will most likely to continue to rise. I am noticing more and more scam emails coming to my spam box. So, if you do not know the sender or the caller, do not reply or answer.
Call your local police station for information on a Senior Safety Presentation or something similar.