“Gram. Can you hear me?”
I almost fell for this scam myself. I was confused for a moment because the young man’s voice could have been one of my grandsons. I didn’t want to hurt his feelings by telling him that I didn’t recognize his voice.
“Gram, I’m in Mexico. The policeman planted drugs in my suitcase and now they won’t let me come home.” That’s when I figured out that he wasn’t my grandson. I saw all three grandsons last night. They wouldn’t have had time to get to Mexico.
The Grandchild Scam has been around for many years now. And the target of this scam is always a senior. In the Grandchild scam, the victim receives a call from a scammer will talk in a panicked voice pretending to be a grandchild in trouble. They will tell a made up a story about a horrible accident or say they they were arrested. Regardless of the story, they will need money right away. Money from their “grandparents.”
Let suppose you get a call and you hear a troubled voice of a kid asking for help, you would get emotional right? This is why scammers play with emotions of the victims to get what they want. The primary goal of a scammer is to get instant cash out of the pockets of the elderly. People have been scammed of between $100 and $10,000 — because they wanted to help their grandchildren.
Beware of the Grandchild scam – here are a few tips and tricks to remain safe:
- The Majority of scammers try to obtain as much information as they possibly can from you. If you receive a call and the case seems legit, the first thing you should do is to call your relatives or ask a trusted family member to verify the facts of the call.
- Do not play with the flow. The scammer tries to get in your mind by using manipulative words. Ask as many questions as you can. This will help you not get scammed or find out that the caller was not your ‘real’ grandchild.
- Do not be fooled into making a hasty financial decision. Refuse straightaway if they deny giving more information or if you are not satisfied.