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Grandparents Across North America Fall Victim to Scammers Posing as their Grandchildren

 
 
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 09:15 pm
Quote:
Grandparents Across North America Fall Victim to Scammers Posing as their Grandchildren
2/11/2010

BBB warns senior citizens that the “Grandparent Scam” is back

Arlington VA - February 10, 2010 " Well-meaning senior citizens who think they are helping a grandchild in distress are becoming victims of another wave of the so-called “Grandparent Scam,” warns Better Business Bureau. So far, the scam has targeted grandparents in more than a dozen states and Canadian provinces and stolen as much as $19,000 from one victim alone.

“The grandparent scam preys on the love of a grandparent for their grandchildren and has proven to be an extremely lucrative con for scammers,” said Stephen A. Cox, President and CEO of the Council of Better Business Bureaus. “Fortunately, this is an easy scam to avoid as long as you don’t let your emotions get the best of you.”

Typically, the grandparent receives a frantic phone call from whom they are led to believe is their grandchild. A scammer, posing as their grandchild, explains that he or she has gotten into trouble"often in Canada"and needs their help. The “grandchild” might claim he or she caused a car accident or was arrested for drug possession. With the new wave of calls, victims are also contacted by someone claiming to be a police officer or lawyer representing the grandchild in court.

The “grandchild” pleads to 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.

One couple in Wisconsin recently sent $19,000 to scammers posing as their grandson and his supposed lawyer. The scam has also targeted individuals in Alabama, ConnecticutIowa, Idaho, Kentucky, Utah, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, South Carolina, Texas, Washington, West Virginia and Canada including residents of British Columbia and Manitoba.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild in distress, BBB advises that you don’t disclose any information before you have confirmed it really is your grandchild. If a caller says “It’s me, grandma!” don’t respond with a name but instead let the caller explain who he or she is. One easy way to confirm their identity is to ask a simple question that your grandchild would know such as what school he or she goes to or their middle name.

http://www.bbb.org/us/article/grandparents-across-north-america-fall-victim-to-scammers-posing-as-their-g-15237
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Type: Discussion • Score: 6 • Views: 1,462 • Replies: 14
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Seed
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 09:39 pm
@tsarstepan,
Looks like the gig is up... time to move on!
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 11:03 pm
@Seed,
None in PA. Were all mean as snakes here.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Wed 24 Feb, 2010 11:13 pm
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild in distress, BBB advises that you don’t disclose any information before you have confirmed it really is your grandchild. If a caller says “It’s me, grandma!” don’t respond with a name but instead let the caller explain who he or she is. One easy way to confirm their identity is to ask a simple question that your grandchild would know such as what school he or she goes to or their middle name.


You'd sort of expect they know what a grandchild's voice sounded like, wouldn't you?

There must be some seriously disconnected families out there.

But still, the grandparents send the money. Poor silly things. Sad

tsarstepan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 04:28 am
@msolga,
That was my first reaction to this whole thing when I read this. I guess these vultures are preying on hitting on and finding grandparents who are also afflicted with any level of dementia and who are from dysfunctional families/seriously disconnected families.
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 04:32 am
@msolga,
msolga wrote:

You'd sort of expect they know what a grandchild's voice sounded like, wouldn't you?

There must be some seriously disconnected families out there.

But still, the grandparents send the money. Poor silly things. Sad




Such is known here in Germany since years.

Those grandparents are mostly very old, more or less suffering from some kind of dementia ...

I've problems to call it silly.
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 04:48 am
@tsarstepan,
That reminds me of sort of a funny/sad story about my mom. She is and always has been generous to a fault. When we were growing up any kitchen knife set or vacuum cleaner salesmen were thrilled to find our house - she'd buy five of everything - one for her and one for each of her daughters...it was ridiculous. Even as a kid, I'd sit there and be like, 'Mom - no - we don't NEED that - Daddy's gonna have a fit...' But that's who she is - she just loves giving gifts and helping people out.

So now she's getting a little confused and when I was home at Christmas she was having continued conflict with my father (who was also very generous- but reasonable about it and was still sharp as a tack) and she was asking him to mail all her Publisher's Clearing House and Reader's Digest sweepstakes - she was convinced she was gonna win the million dollars. So we're sitting there and she asks my dad, 'Edwin - do you think I'll have a better chance of winning if I buy something?' Well my dad responds - 'Nita - we don't need any more STUFF in this house...' and my mother says - 'It's not STUFF - it's books...' (like he didn't know that - it was so cute) and I can see my father getting impatient so I said, 'Mom - why do you think you need to win this money? You guys are well-situated - you don't need to worry about money - Daddy will take care of you both,' and she says,' Well I need to help David pay for his divorce and Irene will need a car now that David is gone with their's...' and I'm looking at my Dad asking, 'Who are David and Irene?'
They were neighbors from down the street!
I was laughing and laughing and my mother says - 'Don't laugh Rebecca - I know I'll win this money...they mailed this directly to me and it has my name on it.'
And my dad just mumbles, 'Yeah - you and 300,000,000 other people.'

But he was such a nice guy - he took it to the post office and mailed it for her.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 04:58 am
@tsarstepan,
Quote:
That was my first reaction to this whole thing when I read this. I guess these vultures are preying on hitting on and finding grandparents who are also afflicted with any level of dementia and who are from dysfunctional families/seriously disconnected families.


Ooh, what a bunch of low lifes!
Nasty.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:16 am
@msolga,
or would that b e "low lives" Ive never figured that one out.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:17 am
@aidan,
did she win?
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:20 am
@farmerman,
I was actually wondering that myself, farmer ... but low lifes sounded more sort of sinister, somehow ...

You're probably right, though. It sounds more correct!
0 Replies
 
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 05:22 am
@farmerman,
not yet....but SHE WILL!!! And then David and Irene from up the street will be all sorted.
She's so sweet- but lord would she be easy pickings if anyone came to the house when no one else was home.

In fact, once she did have this long conversation with some guy she thought was my brother...thank god he wasn't out to scam her - she just dialed the wrong number and started talking -it can happen...and we're not a disconnected family by any means- in fact, quite the opposite.
0 Replies
 
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:37 am
yikes aidan

sweet as you say your mother is, this is really troublesome.

what would happen if your dad passed away, and there was no one right there to prevent her from falling for all this?
aidan
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:50 am
@chai2,
Luckily for us - my parents sold their big house two years ago and my sister and her husband who live in the same town as my parents (where we all grew up) were able to get planning permission to tear down their garage and build a two bedroom, two bath condo in its place. It has its own entrance, but is attached to my sister's house by french doors that lead from her living room right into the front hallway of my parents house.

I say we're lucky we did this when we did, because my father did just happen to pass away and I don't think my mother could bear to move or be put in a home - she's had a lot of loss the last two years - first the home she raised her children in, then her dog of fifteen years and most recently my dad.

So anyway - she's all set - and there are five of us who will take turns going to stay with her or having her to stay with us , and she has a church friend who's an unmarried lady who still drives and is sharp mentally who spends a lot of time during the day with her- so she doesn't feel that she's being a burden or being babysat - because she's not. She can get herself up and bathed and dressed and make her own food and a lot of time she's right there mentally - it's just sometimes she has mental lapses when she's tired.

But the problem about the thought of strangers taking advantage has always been a concern. She couldn't turn anyone away empty-handed - never could - even when she was young and still had all her faculties- she would have handed anyone anything they asked for (materially at least) or invited them in for a meal. That's just the way she's always been.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  1  
Reply Fri 26 Feb, 2010 06:53 am
weird scam near her the other week, a guy contacts an older person and asks them to help with an investigation for the bank, he asks them to withdraw a large summ of money from their account and ask the teller to put in an envelope, the man says they need the envelope to get the tellers fingerprints for some reason or other, the elderly person then meets the man down the street from the bank, hands over the envelope and cash, gets a bogus receipt and is told the money will be returned to the account later in the day, before the reports got out the person or persons had got about $16,000 dollars
0 Replies
 
 

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