BEWARE: How To Not Be A Victim Of Clever New ‘Grandparent Scam’

March 06, 2017Mar 06, 2017

An insidious new form of the “Grandparent Scam” is being used to scam older people, and it’s far more convincing this time.

Traditionally, scams that have targeted grandparents involve callers who are extremely vague but hope to still trick an older person into giving them money.

But according to the AARP, this new version uses shockingly specific information to make you think that the scammer on the other end of the line really is who they say they are.

An elderly journalist told AARP that he was recently pulled into one of these scams by a caller who claimed to be his grandson, gave the correct name of his grandson, mentioned his granddaughter’s name, and knew where his granddaughter was living temporarily before he asked for $1,500 in bail money.

Fortunately, the journalist caught on before it was too late, but many people are falling for these new scams.

Because of the increasing availability of personal information online, scammers are armed with a lot more weapons. They’re also getting increasingly clever at deflecting sceptical questions, like, “You don’t sound like my grandson.”

"My nose got broken in the fight, Grandpa, and I don't sound like myself," is one of the new answers you’ll be given.

So how do you keep yourself from becoming a victim?

1. Don’t assume that just because the caller has a lot of personal information about your relatives they’re legitimate.

2. Stay calm. Don’t let yourself get riled up over an emotional, desperate-sounding plea.

3. Tell the caller you need to consult another family member before you can go any further with helping them. Get their number and hang up.

4. Call someone who will know the whereabouts of your desperate “relative” to see if their story matches up.

5. Share this with your friends and family so that they don’t get scammed either.

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