Grandparent Scam Lives Again – Don’t Be Quick To Send Money

Aug 27, 2022 by

A recent news article in Citrus County, Florida, highlights a deceptive and fraudulent way that con men get money from older citizens. According to Fraud.org, the scam follows this format:

A con artist calls or emails the victim, posing as a relative in distress or someone claiming to represent the relative (such as a lawyer or law enforcement agent).

So, the con man, disguised as grandson Pete, “calls” grandpa or grandma asking for money to bail Pete out of jail or rent a car due to an accident or some similarly emotionally charged need. The loving grandparent, of course, wires the money or gives a prepaid debit card or credit card number to Pete and thinks all is well. The Federal Trade Commission reports that the median cash amount people are scammed out of is $9,000!

Of course, Pete either gets the exact amount of money requested by wire transfer, or in the case of a credit card, runs up exorbitant charges on the card.

Law enforcement officials advise that if you receive a call like this, to challenge the caller by saying something like, “I’m sorry to hear about your problem, Pete. Did you call Aunt Cynthia to help you?” When the caller says something like “I tried but could not reach her.” The wise grandparent can say, “I don’t know who you are, but there is no Cynthia and there is no Pete.” and hangs up. Further, no jail accepts cards to post bail. Bails are typically posted through a bail bondsman.

If you have any doubts, call your local law enforcement agency for help, but never, ever give money information over the phone!