5 Ways to Beat The “Grandparent Scam”

The “Grandparent Scam” is a type of fraud that targets older adults by pretending to be a grandchild or other family member in need of help.

Scammers may call and claim to be in an emergency, such as needing money for medical expenses or bail.

Here are 5 tips to protect yourself from this scam:

1.) Don’t give out any personal or financial information. If the person is indeed in jail, you can contact the county or municipality to arrange payment. If the person needs car repairs, talk directly to the shop owner and call them at their business number.

2.) Don’t answer questions like “Do you know who this is?” You may accidentally give them a name that they were previously unaware.

3.) DO ask questions! Ask the caller personal questions that only a real grandchild could answer, such as a favorite birthday gift or family vacation memory. Birthdates and addresses can be easily obtained on the Internet so do not ask simple questions like that.

4.) DO verify the story. After you hang up, call the grandchild’s parents or other relatives to confirm the story.

5.) DO trust your instincts. Many older adults doubt themselves or their memories and end up falling victim to a crime.