It sounds so appealing and because we love our family members, sometimes our emotions cloud our judgment.
The grandson scam is the latest reminder of the need to be careful about who we, or our elderly parents, trust and how we handle money.
How it Works
Scammers call and say, “Your grandson, or granddaughter is in trouble and needs money for a hospital emergency, to leave a foreign country, or to get out of jail” They suggest you wire the money via Western Union right away. Don’t do it.
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) advises that we slow down and resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.
Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer. It could be something particular about your grandson like, “What’s his nickname,” or “Do you know what we call him,” or, “Do you know where he was last Christmas.”
Call a phone number for your grandson, or whomever they are calling about,that you know to be genuine.
Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
Don’t wire money — or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.
Report possible fraud to the Federal Trade Commission, or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP.
If you are concerned about taking care of your money, or how an elderly parent is managing theirs take a look at our video, Choosing Power of Attorney Tips.