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Grandparents Day Brings Out Grandparent Scammers


Grandparents Day was yesterday and while families salute the contributions of family elders, scammers are back to prey on older citizens.

Michelle Reinen is the state Division of Consumer Protection Director. She tells us about the scam...

"....The scam artist calls the grandparents and acts like the grandchild or represent that the grandchild is in danger. In doing so, they instill this fear factor this urgency and emergency in trying to get the grandparent to respond by taking care of this emergency which involves wiring money to pay for medical expenses, bail if they're in jail or lawyer fees if they've been arrested...."

The scammers are very adept at extracting enough information to convince the victim that he or she is a family member. Reinen says there are variations of the scam but in the end it always involves sending money promptly to get the fake family member out of trouble.

Reinen says there is a simple answer....

"....Just hang up on this phone call, don't engage. If you are left with this concern, go call the parents and verify that the child is where they belong, they're not out traveling, they are safe. Don't play into the secrecy factor the scam artist wants you to fall for...."

Reinen says older citizens are also falling for scams that affect younger people: the tech support scam involving a false complaint about a person's computer and the timeshare resale fraud.

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