Grandparent scam now spreading to other relatives

By Greg Collier

If you were worried about your grandparents becoming the victim of the grandparent scam, you may now have to worry about your aunts and uncles too. Long-time readers will be well familiar with this scam. It’s when a scammer typically calls an elderly person and poses as one of their grandchildren. The fake grandchild says they’re in some kind of legal trouble and need money for bail or some similar fine or fee. The fake grandchild will then ask the victim not to tell anyone else in the family because of embarrassment, but in reality it’s to keep the victim isolated from their family, so the victim won’t know they’re being scammed. Now, it seems that the scammers have branched out from grandparents and are now contacting other family members as well.

This recently happened to a woman in Middletown, Connecticut. She received a phone call from someone claiming to be her nephew. As expected, the fake nephew claimed to have been in a car accident and now is in jail. The nephew then said he sounded different because of an injury received in the accident. Scammers will typically claim a broken nose as the cause of the mismatched voice.

The ‘nephew’ then gave the phone number to his supposed public defender. The woman called the public defender who instructed her that she needed to pay $9500 for her nephew’s bail and that a courier would be by to pick up the money. It wasn’t until after the woman paid the courier before she felt like she was being scammed. She called her family and found out that her nephew was not in jail. The woman called local police and while police were at her home the scammers called back asking for $10,000 more. With the police there, she waited for the courier, who was arrested on the spot. The courier allegedly tried claiming that she was there to pick up money from a friend’s aunt’s house.

So, let your family know that it’s not just grandparents that have to look out for this scam. It seems now that any older relative can be targeted in this scam.