Business Bureau is warning senior citizens to be aware of an emerging telephone
scam that is preying on grandparents nationwide. BBB has recently received
reports about grandparents from
Generally, the scam works like this – the grandparent receives a distressed phone call from who they believe is their grandchild. The supposed grandchild typically explains that they are travelling in Canada and have been arrested or involved in an auto accident and need the grandparent to wire money to post bail or pay for damages—usually amounting to a few thousand dollars. While many seniors have reported the scam without falling prey to it, unfortunately, many others have been victimized. One well-meaning grandmother sent $15,000 to scammers, thinking she was helping a grandchild who had been in an auto accident.
scam is just despicable because it preys on the emotions of seniors who want
nothing more than to ensure the safety of their grandchil
Given the sudden pervasiveness of the scam, several state Attorneys General have issued warnings. In addition, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre is reporting a significant increase in complaints for this scam. In 2007, the Centre received 128 complaints about this type of scam; since the beginning of this year, nearly 350 complaints have been filed, and about half were filed in July and August alone.
enforcement officials are not certain how perpetrators are obtaining phone
numbers for so many senior citizens across the
To protect themselves from this scam, and other scams that may use a distressed loved-one tactic, BBB is advising seniors to confirm the status of the individual by calling them directly or verifying the story with other family members before taking any further action.
also advises that any request to wire money through
anyone victimized by this type of distressed loved-one call, BBB recommends
reporting the incident immediately to local police departments and state
Attorneys General offices. If there is a request to wire money to
more information from BBB on common scams and advice on avoiding consumer fraud,
go to www.sanjose.bbb.org.