A scammer at your door

A scammer at your door

Scammers have always been quick to adapt their scams so they can steal your money as quickly as possible. Before, scammers would have their victims wire them money or they would make them buy a bunch of gift cards and the scammers would take the card numbers over the phone. More recently, scammers have started taking great lengths to make sure that nothing stands between them and stealing their victims’ money. One ploy we recently discussed was scammers keeping their victims on the phone during all aspects of the scam to make sure the victims were actually going through with the payment. Now it seems scammers are getting even more up close and personal.

Various police departments and law enforcement agencies in Iowa are reporting that a number of residents have reported grandparent scams in their area. A grandparent scam is when the scammers pose as an elderly person’s grandchild and claim to be in some kind of trouble. This can vary from the scammer claiming to have been arrested, to being in an accident, and being stuck in a foreign country. They all have the same goal and that’s to get the victim to send them money. In one case in New York, one elderly woman gave a grandparent scammer $40,000 before realizing she had been scammed.

The difference in these recent scams as opposed to grandparent scams of the past is that the scammers are showing up at the victim’s door to collect the money. Rather than risking someone tipping off the victim to the scam, scammers are posing as couriers and collecting money directly from the victim. This is concerning on a number of levels. Not only just for the scammer taking an elderly person’s money but the safety risk involved as well. Keep in mind that scammers are in fact criminals.

If you ever receive a call like this, don’t hesitate to call a trusted relative to make sure the person claiming to be your grandchild is ok. If you hang up it’s not like the grandchild would be sentenced to life in prison.

if you know an elderly person or couple who live alone and do not have access to the internet, please let them know about this scam. Also, consider setting up a family password for just such emergencies so you can verify the person calling is who they say they are.