Grandparent scammers are raising the stakes

Grandparent scammers are raising the stakes

By Greg Collier

It seems that the grandparent scam is the one scam we discuss the most lately. That’s mostly due to the number of variations of the scam that con artists use to make the scam seem more legitimate. In your basic grandparent scam, a scammer will call an elderly victim and pretend to be one of their grandchildren who are in some kind of trouble with the law and need bail money. In other versions of the scam, the scammers will pose as someone in a position of authority such as a police officer or bail bondsman while telling the victim their grandchild is in trouble. And in other cases, you’ll have scammers who pose as both.

A man in Tennessee almost fell for a grandparent scam. At first, he received a call from someone posing as his granddaughter. She was even able to give the man his granddaughter’s full name. The scammer claimed that she had been in a car accident and was now in jail and needed the prerequisite bail money. The man was then instructed to call a ‘lawyer’ at a New York phone number. The phony lawyer told the man that his granddaughter killed a pregnant woman in the car accident. So it seems that the scammers have graduated from phony car crashes to phony vehicular homicide in order to increase the emotional pressure they place on the victims. Luckily, the man’s granddaughter came home before he could send the scammers any money.

As usual, our advice in these situations is to verify the situation. The scammer will tell you not to tell anyone else in the family, but that’s to keep family members from interfering in the scam. After the call, try to call the person who’s supposedly in jail. You can also call the police department where the person is supposedly being held. No one that’s been arrested is going to get in more trouble if you take the time to verify their story.

Also, if you have an elderly relative that may not be aware of this cam, please share this post with them or any of the number of stories out there about this scam.