Beware of the Grandparents' Scam

Jack G. Hittle

Author: Jack G. Hittle

POST DATE: 2.15.18
Ccha  General

This warning is for grandparents, but also everyone else as well.  There are currently many types of phone scams.  One particularly nasty one is the grandparents’ scam.  With all the social media and public information about our lives, it is not hard for thieves to get a hold of your family information.  Typically what happens is you get a phone call, allegedly from your grandchild.  The grandchild has been involved in some sort of altercation or arrest, and the caller says, you need to send money for the grandchild’s legal costs or bail.  This is always a scam.  Do not fall for it.

Be prepared to be skeptical.  Ask to talk to your grandchild.  They will typically have someone pose as your grandchild.  Ask them for detailed family information, such as the grandchild’s own address and birth date, parents’ birth dates, the name of the pet, or any other information which would help you verify this is really your grandchild you are talking to.  These thieves are very clever.  Regardless of what information they give you, do not send them cash or give them your credit card number.  If it is truly a legitimate emergency, tell them to call your attorney (they never will).  At that point, they will likely hang up, which is exactly what you want.

These telephone scammers have the ability to call from any location in the world, and through the use of clever apps, they can make it appear as if they are calling from a legitimate number and a legitimate name.  Therefore, do not rely on the fact that there is a name and number on your caller ID.  It is just part of the scam.

Remember to use CCHA as your fall back position.  Call CCHA if you have any concern about a telephone call that appears suspicious.  Also recall that the Internal Revenue Service will never call you; that is another form of telephone scam.  If you do think there is any legitimacy to the phone call, call CCHA before you do anything else.