Well, now it is our turn to be their protectors. As we are all aware, seniors are a likely target for scammers. With the many scams out there, there is one that is very troubling and something we should all be aware of: The Grandparents Scam.
This scam preys on seniors’ relationships with their grandkids: The conman (or woman) calls pretending to be a grandchild and asks for money to get them out of “trouble”. They may also make you promise to not tell their mom and dad.
So what can seniors do to protect themselves from this scam?
- Ask for Details: Ask for personal information about your family – a family pet, an event that happened long ago. If they start skipping on some of the details, then hang up immediately.
- Call Your Grandchild Directly: Make up an excuse to hang up (“There’s static on the line, dear,”) and call them back on their direct phone line. If you cannot reach them, call a relative to confirm the situation.
- Be Aware of What You and Others Put Online: The Internet has made it easier than ever to access personal information, especially with the rise of social networking sites such as Facebook. While social networking sites are a great way to keep in touch, be aware of what personal information you have online, and be aware that your grandkids may have posted personal information there as well that conmen might use it to fool you.