The Grandparent Scam
PROBLEM: Crooks call senior citizens and impersonate their adult grandchildren in order to hit them up for money. Here’s how a typical conversation might go:
The phone rings and the senior picks up…
Scammer: (in a low tone) Grandma?
Senior: Is that you, Jimmy?
Scammer: Yes, it’s me and I’m in trouble. I’m in jail. I need you to wire money so I can get out. Please don’t tell anyone – I am so embarrassed and I knew I could only trust you. (The typical take on this scam is anywhere between $3,000 and $4,000.)
If the scammer gets money, they’ II have another person call impersonating a police officer and ask for additional funds in order for their grandchild to be released. They claim there are extra charges for property damage. Once the money is taken, you’ll never see it again.
Sweepstakes & lottery scams
PROBLEM: Senior gets a call saying they’ve won a lottery or sweepstakes of some kind, but they need to either pay money or divulge sensitive account information to claim the winnings.
One way this scam “gets you” is a criminal will send the person a fake check to deposit, and during the period it takes for the check to get rejected, the scammer collects money from the senior for ‘fees’ or ‘taxes’ on the supposed prize. Then they’re out of that money, and of course, no money is deposited from that fake check.