Grandparent Scams are on the Rise – Do you know the Red Flags?

 Remax Janet Baptiste

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By Steve Abel – President-BBB | October 1, 2012

Grandparentsare folks that we love, it’s important to take the time to educate our lovedones on the scams that target them. Better Business Bureau is warningwell-meaning seniors about “emergency” scams designed to fool them intothinking that their grandchild is hurt, arrested or stranded, and in need ofmoney. Accordingto recent FBI reports, the “Grandparent Scam” has been around since 2008, butthere has been a surge recently. Retirees are an attractive target forfinancial scammers. As noted by Western Union, emergency scams play off ofpeoples’ emotions and strong desire to help others in need. Scammersimpersonate their victims and make up an urgent situation – “I’ve beenarrested,” “I’ve been mugged,” “I’m in the hospital” – and target friends andfamily with urgent pleas for help, and money. {{more}} BBBoffers the following tips to avoid the Grandparent Scam: ·        Communicate. Teens should share travel planswith family members before leaving the state or country. ·        Share information. Teens should provide the cellphone number and email address of a friend they are traveling with in the caseof an emergency. Family members should remind students to be cautious whensharing details about travel plans on social media. ·        Know the red flags. Typically, the grandparentreceives a frantic phone call from a scammer posing as their grandchild. The”grandchild” explains that he or she has gotten into trouble and needs help,perhaps caused a car accident or was arrested for drug possession. The”grandchild” pleads to the grandparents not to tell his or herparents and asks that they wire thousands of dollars for reasons posting bail,repairing the car, covering lawyer’s fees or even paying hospital bills for aperson the grandchild injured in a car accident.    ·        Ask a personal question,butdon’t disclose too much information. If a grandparent receives a call fromsomeone claiming to be their grandchild in distress, BBB advises that thegrandparent not disclose any information before confirming that it really istheir grandchild. If a caller says “It’s me, Grandma!” don’t respondwith a name, but instead let the caller explain who he or she is.  One easy way to confirm their identity is toask a simple question that the grandchild would know such as what school he orshe goes to or their middle name.  Formore information you can trust, visit