Grandparent Scam: Are You the Next Target?

Grandparent Scam: Are You the Next Target?
Grandparent Scam: Are You the Next Target?

Almost 40% of all fraud victims are over the age of 60. Advances in technology over the years can be blamed in part, since this generation grew up with every telephone call being made for a reason, and not just to gab. Today, that information coupled with love of family is making it easy for scammers to target grandparents on a personal level.

Grandchildren Need Help

What grandparent can resist the cries of their grandchildren in distress? Not many, but you may need to start. This scam involves younger children calling “grandparents,” asking for help in the form of cash.
How do they know you have grandchildren? Facebook, Instagram, and any number of other social media outlets where you may have mentioned the little darlings or even posted pictures of them. And that’s just one method. Everything is for sale online, including your personal data.

How to Avoid the Scam

Decide on a secret word between you and your grandchildren. If they ever need help, they can call you and mention the word during the conversation. This works two ways. A scammer won’t know the secret word and if your grandchildren ever need to call for help without making it known to anyone around them, they can just mention the word without raising any alarms but yours.
Usually, the child will ask that you don’t tell anyone else about it and just wire the money to an account. Instead, you can tell them you will call right back with the information and call your actual grandchild to check in. If they happen to give you a phone number or location (doubtful), be sure to report it to the police immediately in order to help someone avoid being caught up in this scam.