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Why Are Grandparents at Risk?
What is the Grandparent Phone Scam?
It begins with a phone call to a senior and the caller sounding suspiciously like a beloved grandchild. When the senior states the name of the grandchild, the scammer knows the target has taken the bait. That's how it played out for my relatives. Their caller claimed to have had a traffic incident that landed him in jail. He acted embarrassed and was hoping "Grandma & Grandpa" would wire him the bail money without mentioning it to his parents. He would inform them when the matter got resolved. Since their grandson is a college student out-of-state, and since young men sometimes get into minor trouble, and since the caller sounded exactly like one of their four grandsons, they got scammed.
Even if they realize they've been scammed, the FBI reports that senior citizens are less likely to report a fraud because they don't know how to report it, or are too ashamed to admit they've been tricked. They may be especially concerned that relatives will doubt their mental capacity to be independent.
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