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  • Geebo 9:00 am on January 12, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: elderly, , ,   

    Grandparent scam still sending strangers to your door 

    Grandparent scam still sending strangers to your door

    The grandparent scam is terrifying enough as it is. It preys on the elderly and convinces them that a family member is in grave danger. Then if the scam is successful, it can take thousands of dollars that an elderly person needs to survive. That’s not even taking into account the embarrassment victims often feel after being scammed. In recent times, scammers have even sent strangers to victims’ homes to pick up the money that the victims think is getting their loved one out of trouble. Such a thing just happened to an elderly couple in Michigan.

    The couple received a call from someone claiming to be their granddaughter. She said that she had been arrested after a vehicular accident. The impersonator then instructed the couple to call a friend’s father who happened to be a lawyer. When the couple called the supposed lawyer, they were told their granddaughter was in serious trouble and would $12,000 for bail. The phony attorney then sent a ‘courier’ to collect the money. The next day the lawyer called back saying he needed an additional $14,000. Thankfully, the actual granddaughter showed up before they lost any more money.

    These couriers that the scammers send could literally be anybody. They could just be an unwitting participant, or they could be the scammer themselves. At best, you’re ‘just’ losing money to the scammer. At worst, they could be someone who is scouting out the home for a possible burglary or worse. If you’ve already given the scammer money, they could always come back and try to get more, or your valuables.

    As always, it is recommended that if you receive a call like this to contact the person first who is supposedly in trouble. If you can’t contact them, you can always call the police department where they’re supposedly being held, and they should be able to tell you if this is a scam or not.

    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.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on August 31, 2020 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: elderly, , , ,   

    Scammers are showing up at seniors’ doors 

    Scammers are showing up at seniors' doors

    If you’re not a senior citizen yourself, you may have an elderly relative. They may live alone and a great distance from you. Would you want strangers showing up to their door and taking thousands of dollars in your relative’s money? How upsetting to you would that be if it happened to someone in your family? Unfortunately, this is happening to many families around the country in this scary new twist on the grandparent scam.

    Just in case you’re unfamiliar with the grandparent scam it’s when a scammer calls a senior citizen and poses as one of their grandchildren or some other relative. The scammers will say that they’re in some kind of trouble. Usually, they’ll say that they’ve been arrested and need money for bail. Other times they’ll say that they’re in the hospital and need money for treatment. We’ve even seen some cases where they’ll say they’re overseas and they need money to get home.

    As you can see, the common goal of the scam is to get money from elderly victims. Scammers used to get money from their victims in this scam by having them buy gift cards and having the victims give the gift card numbers to the scammer over the phone. Just as an aside, we’d like to remind you that gift cards are commonly used in all sorts of scams, so please keep in mind that no legitimate company or agency will ask for payment over the phone in gift cards.

    Now, grandparent scammers have developed an increasingly worrying tactic. Instead of asking for gift cards over the phone, scammers are employing go-betweens who act as couriers to pick up the money personally. In at least one case in Ohio, a woman was scammed out of $15,000 when a scammer posed as her grandson in Florida claiming to need bail. The scammers had someone go to her home and physically collect the $15,000 in cash.

    While we haven’t heard of any of these scammers getting physical with their victims, the potential is always there.

    The best way to deal with these scams is to contact the person the scammers are claiming to be. Scammers may sound convincing due to the fact that they get a lot of their information from social media. However, even if the call is real no one is going to be sentenced to life in prison or thrown out of the hospital if you hang up on the phone call from the supposed grandchild.

    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.

     
    • Dave Smith 8:45 pm on August 31, 2020 Permalink

      They sound convincing, one called me and sounded just like my grandson from of out state.
      When I ask him what his mother’s name was, what was my name, what was his father’s name he started acting like the phone connection was bad, I told him until he could answer my questions I wasnt sending him anything. He hung up the phone. They are very convincing,
      If I hadn’t worked in Security I would have believed the story. DO NOT DO ANY BUSINESS ON THE PHONE!

  • Geebo 9:00 am on November 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: elderly, Jamaica, ,   

    Victim fights back in lottery scam 

    Victim fights back in lottery scam

    A 90-year-old woman from a small town in North Dakota was taken for $400,000 in a foreign lottery scam. A scammer called the woman to tell her that she had won millions of dollars in a lottery. The catch was that she would have to pay advance fees in order to claim the winnings. This woman ended up paying $400,000 to scammers by sending them checks, cashing out a life insurance policy, and even borrowing money from family members. The woman’s children were finally able to discover what was happening and explained to the woman what was really going on.

    The victim, in this case, didn’t take the losses lying down and helped launch a federal investigation into this particular scam. Federal investigators have been able to apprehend 31 suspects allegedly involved in the scam. Most of the suspects were captured in the United States but a number of them were extradited from Jamaica. It’s believed this scam ring was able to bilk its elderly victims out of $6 million. While federal prosecutors have pledged to get the woman’s money back, so far she’s only been able to collect $287 out of the $400,000 she lost.

    With most scams, if something sounds too good to be true it probably is. Even if you play your state lottery the lottery commission isn’t going to call you by phone. In that case, you need to contact them to claim any winnings if there over a certain amount. While you may be in a desperate situation where the money would be a welcome relief, take a moment to think about wahts’ going on. Why would someone call you to give you money for a lottery that you didn’t even enter? There are no mystery lotteries giving out money to random winners. While it may sound like a gift from above, it’s actually a deal with the devil.

     
  • Geebo 9:03 am on October 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: elderly, ,   

    The grandparent scam is making the rounds again 

    The grandparent scam is making the rounds again

    Scammers love to target the elderly. The scammers count on their victims being more trusting and not tech savvy in order to scam the elderly out of what little money they might have. A scam that has become quite prevalent os what’s known as the grandparent scam. In it, the scammer calls an elderly person and claims to be one of their grandchildren who has been arrested somewhere out-of-state and needs bail money. They then instruct the victim on where to send the money. Too often the victims send the phony bail before they realize it’s a scam.

    While the scam sometimes varies the scammers often employ some concerning tactics to try to get their victims to send the money. In a lot of cases, scammers have some very personal information about the victim including who their grandchildren are and where they live. When a person becomes suspicious that this may not be their grandchild the scammer will say that they’ve received injuries that prevents them from talking correctly. A tip-off that this may be a scam is if the ‘grandchild’ asks for money to be wired or the victim is asked to buy gift cards. In one case, an elderly couple was asked to actually mail the money.

    The AARP website has a great article on how to avoid this scam with such tips as asking the caller something that only they would know. They also recommend that if you receive one of these calls you should collect yourself first before making any actions. Then call a relative who would know the whereabouts of the person in question and verify with them where this person currently is. This way if it does turn out to be an actual emergency you can respond in an appropriate manner.

    If you know someone who may be vulnerable to this scam please talk with them or share this post with them.

     
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