What are “grandparent scams”?
Grandparent scams are one of the most common forms of fraud committed toward seniors. They prey on the goodwill many older individuals have toward the rest of the families and their willingness to help their relatives in times of financial hardship.
A typical grandparent scam may begin with an email, a letter, a text, or a phone call from someone posing as a representative of a relative. For instance, the scammer will claim to be the lawyer, doctor, or even bail bondsman of a relative in trouble. The scammer might say something like, “Please don’t call their parents, they specifically asked me to contact you and keep this a secret from Mom and Dad.” Or, to keep the grandparent from checking with their grandchild, the scammer might attempt to convince their victim that the grandchild needn’t know about the trouble into which they’ve gotten themselves. The grandparent will then transfer funds to the “representative” of the grandchild in need, unbeknownst to anyone else in the family.
To avoid falling victim to these nefarious scams, several steps can be taken. Following are some examples:
-Do not respond to, or take great care responding to, correspondence from any unknown individuals requesting money
-Verify the caller’s identity by asking a personal question only your relative or their personal representative would know the answer to
-If you do plan to transfer money to a relative, independently contact that relative before doing so; or, contact the parents of that relative to confirm the story you have been told
If you feel you might be the victim of elder exploitation, do not hesitate to call the attorneys at Bach, Jacobs & Byrne, P.A. for litigation representation at (941) 906-1231.