Beware of the Grandparent Scam (and similar Impostor Frauds)

This is how the grandparent scam typically plays out: You get a call from someone pretending to be your grandchild. The person explains that he/she is in trouble, with a story that goes something like this: “There’s been an accident and I’m______ (in jail, in the hospital, stuck in a foreign country), and I need your help.” The caller adds enough details about how, what or where the emergency happened to make the story seem plausible. And the distraught caller, you think to yourself, does sort of sound like your grandson or granddaughter.


Another common ruse is stating that your grandchild has been arrested and needs bail money, the suspect will give directions over the phone on how they will pick up the cash for the bail or how it should be wired.


Often the caller tells you that a third person, such as a lawyer, doctor or police officer, will “explain everything to you” if you call him or her. Often they ask that you "Don't tell mom or dad because they don't want to get into trouble."


This financial ruse has been making the rounds in various incarnations for years. In 2017 nearly one in five people reported losing money in an impostor scheme like the grandparent scam, amounting to a loss of $328 million, according to the FTC. And those ages 70 and older have suffered the highest average losses.


Please do not become another victim, if you get a call or email that is asking for you to give large sums of money to get your relative out of jail, please do not give them any money and call your local police for guidance!


The following link will give you more information about scams such as this:

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