Picture this: your 80-year old grandma receives a phone call and then it goes like this: “Hi grandma, it’s me! Sorry to bother you, but I have some troubles, please don’t tell mom…” It may sound like a normal family call. Except for one thing – the person who’s calling isn’t you.
It’s because this is not a normal family call. This is a typical case of the so called “grandparent scam”, a popular tactics how to steal money from trusting older people. For the first time, it appeared few years ago, and, unfortunately, it’s still very popular with scammers. The Federal Trade Commission estimates that grandparent scams and other imposter scams cost Americans millions of dollars each year!
How does the grandparent scam looks like?
The scammer pretends to be a grandchild in distress. They inform the victim that they need money immediately, otherwise they end up in jail. In other scenarios, scammers pretend to need money because of an injury or some other accident.
How can someone even fall for the grandparent scam?
Yes, it may sound weird. Because honestly, who wouldn’t recognize the voice of an own grandchild?
But it’s more complicated than that. Identifying voices over the phone is difficult, and scammers also usually complain about bad connection or cold during the phone call. Sometimes, a “grandchild” even passes the phone over to his “attorney” who gives grandma information on how to wire the money.
How do scammers choose their target
Sometimes it’s totally random. However, sometimes it’s not. In some scenarios, scammers are reaching for people who’ve already been scammed before. Another source of information can be Facebook as well.
Get protection against grandparent scam
If you’ve already become a victim of any kind of scam, follow these steps to get your money back. Don’t want to lose your money ever again? Make sure to get an efficient protection against scammers, for example the Should I Answer app for Android or for iOS. It will block all incoming scam calls for you, so you don’t have to deal with scammers anymore.