Grandparent scam claims victim is ‘under oath’

Grandparent scam claims victim is 'under oath'

By Greg Collier

Scammers love to victimize the elderly. Even though reports say that more young people are increasingly vulnerable to scams, seniors seem to remain to be the scammers’ favorite target. One theory is that scammers target the elderly because their generation still answers the phone no matter who may be calling. That’s how their generation lived after all. Unfortunately, this has made them vulnerable to scams, especially the grandparent scam.

As many of you know, the grandparent scam is where the scammers will pose as an elderly victim’s grandchild. They’ll say that they’ve gotten into some kind of legal trouble and need money to rectify the situation. Requests for bail money are usually the more popular versions of the scam. Scammers are constantly fine-tuning the grandparent scam in order to maximize the number of victims they can prey on.

For example, a woman in Illinois was told by someone posing as her grandson that the grandson needed $5,000 to get out jail. The phony grandson said that he had gotten into an accident with a diplomat in St. Louis. When the woman said that the caller didn’t sound like her grandson they said that he hurt his neck and couldn’t talk right. Then another person got on the call claiming to be a lawyer. He told the woman that she was ‘under oath’ and not to tell anyone.

Thankfully, employees at her bank inquired why she was withdrawing such a large amount of money and were able to stop her from becoming another victims. They called the real grandson who was actually in no danger.

While it may sound official, no one can put you ‘under oath’ over the phone. Being under oath only applies to court proceedings and even then you have to agree to it.

And as we always recommend, 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.