Summer is Prime Time for Grandparent Scam
Tyler, TX - July 7, 2014 –– Each summer, students look forward to the opportunity to trade their studies for some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, it’s also the time when BBB receives an increase of “Grandparent Scam” reports. While the scam has been around for years, it continues to proliferate as one variation of the imposter scams which dupes thousands of consumers every year.
Here's how it works. The grandparent receives a frantic phone call from a scammer posing as their grandchild who claims they are traveling abroad and is in trouble. The "grandchild" might claim he or she caused a car accident or is in trouble with the law and requires money to be wired immediately. Victims may also be contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer or lawyer representing the grandchild in court. In either case, the "grandchild" pleads with the grandparents to not tell his or her parents and asks that they wire thousands of dollars for reasons including posting bail, repairing the grandchild's car, covering lawyer's fees or even paying hospital bills for a person the grandchild injured in a car accident.
“A grandparent’s worst nightmare is to find out that their grandchild has been injured or is in a catastrophic situation”, said Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Serving Central East Texas. “With access to a potential lifetime of savings, seniors are prime targets for scam artists who will plot to take advantage of their desire to help a loved one.”
BBB provides the following tips to help keep consumers from falling prey to the Grandparent Scam.
If you do fall victim to the "Grandparent Scam", report the incident immediately to BBB and local police.
For more tips on how to be a savvy consumer, go to bbb.org. To report a fraudulent activity or unscrupulous business practices, call the BBB Hotline: (903) 581-8373.