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Virginia Beach Estate Planning Lawyer / Blog / Uncategorized / Scammers target grandparents with emotional pleas

Scammers target grandparents with emotional pleas

Some people, unbelievably, don’t love grandparents.

Instead of senior citizens who are to be revered for their experience, wisdom and ability to spoil grandchildren, con artists view grandparents as money trees to be shaken, and sometimes in the cruelest of ways.

“You get a call or an email unexpectedly from someone who claims to be a friend or relative,” according to the website of the Consumer Federal of America (http://consumerfed.org/pdfs/Grandparent-Scam-Tips.pdf). “This often happens to grandparents with the caller claiming to be their grandson or granddaughter. The caller says there’s an emergency and asks you to send money immediately.”

In some iterations of the scam, the grandson or granddaughter claims to be in jail, adding an edge of urgency that might convince the older person being called not to ask too many questions.

“Across the nation, con artists are scamming grandparents out of thousands of dollars by posing as grandchildren in distress,” states the website of the Michigan Attorney General. “In one instance, Michigan, grandparents were taken for $33,000. They wire transferred $3,000 to someone they thought was their grandson after he called and claimed he was caught fishing without a license in Canada and needed to pay a $3,000 fine. They were taken for an additional $30,000 after the supposed grandson called again to say that alcohol and drugs were found when his boat was searched, and he needed $30,000 to post bond to get out of a Canadian jail.”

“Many grandparents will drop everything to help their grandchildren,” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine said in a recent press release (http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/Media/News-Releases/July-2016/Attorney-General-DeWine-Warns-of-Grandparent-Scams

Parents (Photo credit: mohammadali)
Parents (Photo credit: mohammadali)

). “That’s why this scam works. It’s terrible not only because of the money loss but because of the fear it instills in people. Our goal is to protect Ohio’s families and help them recognize the warning signs of a scam before it’s too late.”

Since the start of 2016, the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section has received about two dozen consumer complaints involving grandparent scams, the release continued.

“What else can you do to protect yourself?” the Consumer Federation of America asks. “If you get a call or email from someone claiming to know you and asking for help, check to confirm that it’s legitimate before you send any money. Ask some questions that would be hard for an imposter to answer correctly, the name of the person’s pet, for example, or the date of their mother’s birthday. Contact the person who they claim to be directly. If you can’t reach the person, contact someone else, a friend or relative of the person. Don’t send money unless you’re sure it’s the real person you know.”

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