Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Beware the Grandparent Scam

I don't know if you've heard about the Grandparent Scam, because although it has been around for a while, the victims are pretty embarrassed and don't really want to talk about it. I'm not sure really why they are embarrassed, though. This scam doesn't tempt by greed; it preys on the love a grandparent has for their grandchild. My grandchild is still, as they say, "in the oven," and I would already do absolutely anything for her!

Anyway, the scam involves a frantic phone call from a young person to an elderly person; when the older person answers, the younger says "Grandpa?" and leaves them to say something like "Is this Johnny?" thus providing the name. Then the game is on. Supposedly there has been a car crash in Canada in a rental car; the beloved grandchild will go to jail if they aren't wired X amount of dollars within, say, an hour and a half; they are depending on Grandpa to save them! It's all rushed, panicked, and often Grandpa can't hear real well to boot. Plus the line gets conveniently crinkly if the grandchild is supposedly answering anything that would identify them as completely ignorant. If this ruse doesn't work fast enough, the a psuedo-lawyer comes on and really turns the screws. Oh, and they are always begged not to tell "mom and dad" because it would only worry them.

I know personally of two people who have fallen for this and I think others need to be alert. Even in the remote chance this is real, your grandchild can afford to wait until you verify the information. And trust me, chances are that it is NOT real.

So that's my Consumer Alert for the day. I have one month to "show the doctor what I can do" in the way of exercise and other health measures, before he begins monkeying with my medicine, so I'm off to the races, so to speak. I have a million things to write percolating in my head and eventually one of them will swim to the top, so I'll be back then.


Cherdecor said...

I have heard about this scam, but only through email. My grandchildren are not old enough to drive so they will not get that one over on me! Ha! Ha!

thedailydish said...

I have heard of this Trace and it's awful. Con artists need to be rounded up and sent to the stockyard.

Glad to hear from you!

PS: Hoping to make the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies soon - went to get the puree today and NONE!! It was a bad year for the pumpkin..


Zuzana said...

I hate scams, whether they are email, surface mail or phone. I get bombarded my many mails that can clearly be seen as unreal, but the one you describe here can feel very genuine and can appear authentic to an elderly person.
I hope you get better soon and i look forward to more inspiring posts from you in the future.;)
Thank you also very much for your endearing comment yesterday.

Connie said...

So now we know it is a granddaughter! I have so much fun doing girly and non girly things with them. I have heard of this scam and a few others. I guess there will always be wicked people in the world.

p.s. I have a physical tomorrow and I am not looking forward to it.

nikkipolani said...

It's always something, isn't it? People will find ways to empty other people's wallets either by public scams or private scams.

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