Don’t answer this question from grandparent scammers!

Don't answer this question from grandparent scammers

By Greg Collier

Several counties in Upstate New York have reported an increase in the number of grandparent scams that are happening in their area. The grandparent scam is probably one of the most prevalent scams going today and often targets elderly individuals who are living alone, taking them for sometimes thousands of dollars at a time.

You may well be familiar with the grandparent scam since we discuss it so often, but for new readers, here is a quick recap. This is when scammers will pose as the victim’s grandchild, claiming that they’re in some kind of legal trouble and need money sent to them right away. Usually, the claim is that the grandchild is in jail and needs bail money. IN variations of the scam, scammers will pose as bail bondsmen or police officers. Payment will be asked for, usually in cash or gift cards, since they’re virtually untraceable.

The news report from New York goes over the usual steps on how to prevent falling for the grandparent scam, such as having a family code word or asking the supposed grandchild a question only they would know. However, the article also gave us one more way of protecting yourself, and it’s a simple one. Often, but not always, the scammer will open the phone call with “Do you know who this is?”. This way, they’re hoping that the victim volunteers the name of a grandchild. Then, the scammers can use the grandchild’s name to establish a fake emotional bond between the scammer and the victim.

Still, the best way to prevent an elderly friend or relative from falling victim to the grandparent scam is education. If you know someone who may be vulnerable to such a scam, please consider sharing this blog post with them or any one of the news articles that have reported on it.