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  • Geebo 8:00 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , grandparent scam,   

    91-year-old man taken in grandparent scam 

    91-year-old man taken in grandparent scam

    If you haven’t heard of the grandparent scam it can be a particularly heartbreaking story. The scam targets the elderly and how it works is that the scammer will call their target pretending to be one of their grandchildren. They will ask the grandparent for money claiming they’re in some kind of jam such as being in jail or an emergency room. They’ll also ask the grandparent not to say anything to the parents because they’re too embarrassed when in reality it’s just to keep the target’s adult children from finding out about the scam. Scammers count on their victims being more trusting, more willing to answer a call from an unfamiliar number, and not being as tech-savvy as younger segments of the population.

    Unfortunately, a 91-year-old man from Indiana was scammed out of almost $3,000 in one of these scams. He received a call from someone claiming to be his grandson who claimed to be in jail and needed bail money. The phone was then handed over to someone pretending to be the arresting officer who instructed the man that bail could be paid with eBay gift cards. The man ended up buying $2,600 worth of gift cards in two separate trips to his local supermarket. The man then gave the gift card serial numbers to the scammers. Even after thew scammers got the money from their victim, they kept calling him asking for more money. His daughter finally intervened and had his calls forwarded to her line where she confronted the scammers. Sadly, the money the man spent will more than likely not be recovered.

    We know we say this a lot but that’s only because it’s such a common trait in most scams; don’t ever pay for anything over the phone with gift cards. If you or a family member receive a call like this and they ask for payment in gift cards or prepaid debit cards it’s almost guaranteed to be a scam. You should also handle these phone calls calmly if you receive one and don’t give in to the pressure the caller will try to apply. If they claim to be a family member, ask them something that only that family member would know. You should also call another relative who is more familiar with that person’s current location to make sure they’re not in any kind of trouble. And if you have elderly friends or relatives, especially if they live alone, please share this information with them so they can better handle any scam calls they might receive.

     
  • Geebo 8:00 am on September 25, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: grandparent scam, , ,   

    Alarming new twist on grandparent scam emerges 

    Alarming new twist on grandparent scam emerges

    We’ve discussed the grandparent scam before. It’s when a scammer will call an elderly person claiming to be one of their grandchildren who has been arrested and needs bail money. The victim then will wire the money before realizing that their grandchild is safe and had not been arrested. Scammers often target the elderly in this scam because they count on their victims being more trusting, more willing to answer a call from an unfamiliar number, and not being as tech-savvy as younger segments of the population. Now, there’s been a new twist on the grandparent scam that makes the phony calls seem even more legitimate than before.

    People across the state of Missouri have been reporting that they’ve been receiving calls that appear like they’re coming from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri. The calls appear on the victim’s phone as either ‘US Government’ or ‘US District Court’. The caller then poses as a grandchild asking for money to help get them out of jail. Phone numbers purporting to be from agencies like this can be easily spoofed, however, these spoofed numbers add a degree of pressure and urgency in order to try to get the victim to send money as quickly as possible.

    Advocacy groups like the AARP recommend asking the caller something that only they would know. While this can go a long way in preventing fraud it’s not infallible as scammers can gather these details from social media. Instead, if you receive one of these calls you should above all else remain calm. If you can’t discern if this is actually one of your grandchildren calling, call someone in your family who would know the whereabouts of the relative in question and ask where this person currently is. This way if it does turn out to be an actual emergency you can respond in an appropriate manner.

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

    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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