Parents constantly worry about their children’s safety, regardless of their age. That ongoing concern doesn’t diminish as they reach their grandparenting years. For some, it becomes even greater.
Imagine being a grandparent, and receiving a call from someone informing you that your grandson (who is away at college) was involved in a terrible automobile accident. He was not seriously injured, but he is very scared because the other party was badly injured, and is an expectant mom. Your “grandson” gets on the phone asking you for your help and promises to pay you back, but asks you to please not tell mom or dad yet. He will tell them everything when he gets home. Your heart races with fear, yet it is also breaking as you imagine this young man who doesn’t fully understand yet what this all means for him. All he needs from you is $900. You think to yourself “that’s not a significant amount of money…and would be worth it to help him out”.
So off you go to send the funds. Later in the day, you receive a second call telling you that the injured party suffered a miscarriage and now needs additional funds to pay other expenses. Your “grandson” must pay this or he will be arrested. Again, the adrenaline doesn’t allow you to think straight and you go directly to send the necessary funds. You just hope he will be okay once all this is behind him…
You have just been scammed. There was no accident and your grandchild is safe at school and you are out $900 or more.
If you hadn’t heard this scenario before, you could have fallen for this just as someone I know did. This is a real risk for senior citizens as they often live away from their children/grandchildren and may not know their whereabouts on a daily basis.
There are several other scams that target senior citizens, trying to instill fear in them. Warn your loved ones to be on the lookout. Tell them that when in doubt, they should write down the information, hang up the phone and immediately call a family member, friend or your local police to ask for help in confirming its validity. There should never be a reason to respond to an urgent request for funds made over the phone or via email.
Click on the link below to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s website which provides advice on how to spot an imposter scam as well as what how to report it if you become a victim.