Consumer Alert: Grandparents Scam
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS 12) —
Scams targeting seniors by pretending to be loved ones in trouble has skyrocketed, despite 400 thousand complaints.
"When I think about something happening to her. Ya know it would be horrible," said Mary Meyer, a grandmother.
Mary Meyer still gets emotional when she thinks about the frightening call she recently received from someone posing as her granddaughter.
The person on the phone said she'd been in a minor crash, and that she was with a bondsman who was demanding her grandmother pay twenty-six-hundred dollars.
"I was upset, she was hurt, I didn't know how badly she was hurt," Meyer said emotionally.
But the 80-year-old was suspicious and told the caller she needed to consult a lawyer.
“With that, bang, the phone went down,” said Meyer.
This is a classic example of what is known as the Grandparent Scam.
“Well first of all they're trying to pull on your heart strings,” said Adam Levin Chairman of Cyberscout. “Many people fall for it.”
The Federal Trade Commission says last year alone it received more than 400-thousand complaints about imposter scams like the grandparent scam.
Levin says a major red flag, requests for specific types of payment.
“A cashier's check, some kind of bank check, pre-paid debit card. They are not interested in almost anyway with taking a credit card because credit cards have robust fraud protections,” Levin.
Even though reports of this scam are up it does appear that many seniors are learning. more a slamming down the phone and not falling for the heartless trick.