One of the latest scams is the Grandparent Scam and incredibly simple and devious because it uses one of older adults’ most reliable assets, their hearts. This has actually happened to the grandmother and mother-in-law of a friend of mine. The grandmother fell for it and went immediately to the bank and started to send the money at Walmart where they told her it was a scam. Thank goodness they didn’t let her wire the $2,600 to these criminals.
How The Grandparents Scam Works:
Scammers will place a call to an older person and when the mark picks up, they will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the unsuspecting grandparent guesses the name of the grandchild the scammer most sounds like, the scammer has established a fake identity without having done a lick of background research.
Once “in,” the fake grandchild will usually ask for money to solve some unexpected financial problem (post bail, buy a plane ticket, overdue rent, payment for car repairs, etc.), to be paid via Western Union or MoneyGram, which doesn’t always require identification to collect.
At the same time, the scam artist will beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.” So they don’t tell anyone what they are doing and the con artist can get away it.
While the sums from such a scam are likely to be in the hundreds if not thousands, the very fact that no research on the senior is needed makes this a scam that can be perpetrated over and over at very little cost to the scammer but at a very high cost to our senior citizen community, who love their grandchildren and would do anything to help them.
This is just one of the many scams where our seniors are preyed upon. Click here to read about them and then be sure discuss this with your senior, so they don’t become a victim of these shady tricks.