The grandparent scam with the COVID cover

The grandparent scam with the COVID cover

We’ve been discussing grandparent scams a lot lately. By most reports, these scams have been on the rise since the advent of the global pandemic and show no sign of slowing down any time soon. Now, scammers are incorporating the pandemic into their scam.

It’s called the grandparent scam because scammers often target the elderly with this scam. The scammer will claim to a grandchild who is in some sort of trouble. More often than not the scammer will say that they’ve been arrested in need money for bail or some other legal fee. The scammers will then request large amounts of money to be sent to them while posing as the grandchild. In the past, scammers have requested the money through wire services like Moneygram, or through gift cards like those you can get for Amazon or Walmart. More recently, some scammers have even employed go-betweens to go right up to a victim’s door and collect the money in cash.

Scams are always evolving and the grandparent scam is no exception. Since people have been getting wise to the scam, scammers are now using a tactic devised to put pressure on their victims. According to the Florida Attorney General’s Office, scammers are telling their victims that because of COVID-19, bail needs to be paid over the phone immediately so person to person contact can be avoided. This can also give the impression that the supposed grandchild could be exposed to COVID-19.

These scammers will say anything to keep you on the phone and to try to get you to make some form of payment right then and there. However, it’s always in your best interest to hang up and call the grandchild that the scammer is claiming to be. If a grandchild had actually been arrested, verifying their situation will more than likely not cause them any further distress.

Again, we ask that 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.