Beware of the Grandparent Scam

Lisa C. Community, Newcomer Information, Seniors

What is a Grandparent Scam?
  • A Grandparent Scam is also called a “Grandchild” in Need Scam.
  • This is a type of scam that targets older adults who have grandchildren.
  • Scammers that run Grandparent scams exploit seniors’ love for their grandchildren.
How does a Grandparent Scam work?
  • Scammers’ goal is to separate seniors from their money.
  • The victim usually gets a phone call or text message from the scammer posing as his/her grandchild, saying that he/she is in trouble (accident, an arrest/robbery, hospitalized in a foreign country, etc.) and asking the victim to send money immediately.
  • There is always a sense of urgency in this type of scam, where the imposter will do everything to urge the senior to send money right away.
What to do if the scam happens to you?
  • Trust your instincts. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably a scam.
  • Do not panick and refrain from taking any action immediately. Hang up and call your grandchild’s phone to verify if he/she is really in trouble.
  • Other ways to verify it’s really your grandchild include asking the caller a question that only your grandchild can answer. Or call your family member to check, if you cannot reach your grandchild right away.

Word of the Day:

Imposter: a person who pretends to be someone else