Consumer watchdogs such as the Better Business Bureau are currently warning that the ‘grandparent scam’ has accumulated victims in 14 states and two Canadian provinces since 2008.
The authorities think that the grandparent scams don’t always get reported because the victims of the scheme are too embarrassed to report it to law enforcement or their families especially if they are living alone or fighting for their independence.
The scam works like this:- a man calls and says ”Hello Grandma”, and goes on to explain that he was jailed after a traffic stop in Canada and, (wouldn’t you know), there were illegal drugs in the car. He needs $2,814 to get sprung. Then another person comes on the phone pretending to be an official – ‘Officer Cohen’. The official asks you to go to the nearest Walmart store and use a MoneyGram to pay the ‘bail’ to a bondsman in Barcelona, Spain – you are asked to keep it confidential. Once the money is sent that’s the last you’ll ever see of it and needless to say you will find out later that you have been yet another victim of a growing scam.
The scam works in a lot of cases because the victim will inadvertently say the grandchild’s name to the caller after being addressed as Grandma and once the caller has any personal details and the emotional connection is made to the grandson the caller has the victim on the hook. Criminals are also gathering information on people from social media and other internet sites.
There are plans afoot for a public service announcements about the grandparent scam for TV stations and Internet sites. You the public can help by spreading awareness of this scam and by reporting it to authorities or a trusted Home Health Agency if you get such a call.
For more information, please call toll free on: 1877-263-3570