Grandparent Scams

The Consumer Law and Policy Blog posted this information about Grandparent Scams.

“It’s Me Fraud”
by Jeff Sovern

Those of us at the University of Houston Teaching Consumer Law Conference last week were treated to a report on a type of fraud I personally had never heard of and that is so new, it goes under several names, including it’s me fraud and grandparent fraud. Basically, someone calls a grandparent (or sometimes a parent) claiming to be his or her grandchild facing an emergency and in need of funds.

We at Scam Victims United have been reporting on this scam for years now, calling it the Grandparent Scam. The biggest target are seniors, and the scammers use the fact that the Grandparent will want to help out their grandchild no matter what the cost.

What we recommend is that the Grandparents set up a code word with thier grandchildren, so that if the grandchild really DOES need their help and they call the Grandparent can say “What is the code word?” and if the person on the other end of the phone does not know the code word then they will know it is a scam. Don’t make the code word anything that could be found on the grandchild’s social networking site info, like their high school or middle name.

Another thing that Grandparents can do if they get one of these calls and have NOT set up a code word with their grandchild is to think of a name that no one in your family has, in my case I would use something like Jenny, and then ask the “grandchild” that calls them “Is your sister Jenny with you too?” If the caller says anything like “Yes, Jenny is here.” or “No, Jenny is at home.” then the Grandparent would know it is a scam since there is no “Jenny”.

Shawn Mosch
Co-Founder of ScamVictimsUnited.com
There is strength in numbers!

Advertisements

One Response to “Grandparent Scams”

  1. David Says:

    My grandpa was recently a victim of this very scam. He wired over $4,000 dollars to Italy. Is there any way of recovering the money or going after the perpetrators?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: