How It Works:
You get a frantic call from someone claiming to be your grandson or granddaughter. The caller says there’s an emergency and asks you to send money right away. But there’s a good chance this is an imposter trying to steal your money through the “grandparent scam.”
Scammers usually claim to be in a desperate situation, such as being involved in a car accident or needing money to get out of a legal mess. The caller poses as your grandchild, or a law enforcement officer or attorney calling on your grandchild’s behalf – whatever it takes to sound convincing. Read an account of how the scam played out for one grandmother.
What You Should Know:
- The caller may have personal information, such as family member’s names that they could have found on social media sites.
- The caller will likely ask that you send the money by wire transfer or gift card.
- They will likely beg you to not tell anyone.
What You Should Do:
- Try to reach the person the caller is claiming to be directly. If you can’t reach him or her, contact a friend or family member to try and validate the emergency.
- Ask some questions that would be hard for an impostor to answer, like a pet’s name or a mother’s birthday.
- Don't send money unless you're sure the situation is real.
- When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family
When it comes to fraud, vigilance is our number one weapon. You have the power to protect yourself and your loved ones from scams. Please share this alert with friends and family.
P.S. Spotted a scam? Tell us about it. Our scam-tracking map gives you information about the latest scams targeting people in your state. You’ll also find first-hand accounts from scam-spotters who are sharing their experiences so you know how to protect yourself and your family.