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Financial Security

Fraud Prevention Friday – April 16, 2021

Our parents and grandparents are unfortunately targets for scams involving other family members. The scammers prey on the idea that their precious grandchild or child may be in trouble and the only way to help is to send money like the person on the phone is asking for.  
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  The scammer will call and will speak very softly into the phone, which would explain why they sound so different to the parent or grandparent. They will say they are in trouble, need bail, or need money for some reason (this could include a vacation that ended them in jail or trapped somewhere with no money to get home). The scammer will encourage the parent/grandparent to keep the conversation a secret as to not cause more distress in this situation.  
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  Years back, the scammers would ask for gift cards or wire money to be able to get the cash quickly. Now, the scammers are more advanced and will tell the parent/grandparent that someone will come to their door to retrieve the cash money. Even when they get the money, they may still call and request more.  
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  Here is what you can tell your loved ones to make sure that they don't fall victim to these scams:  
  • Resist the urge to act immediately. If they get this suspicious call about their child/grandchild, encourage them to give that family member a call or text to confirm the story.
  • Encourage them to NEVER give out their address or personal banking information to anyone who contacts them over the phone.
  • Let your family member know to ask you questions about these phone calls. Make sure they feel that they can talk to you about these kinds of things.
 
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  Thanks the Federal Trade Commission for providing great information and tools for how to protect people from scams.  
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  To learn more or to report a scam, visit the FTC website here. Don't open your door to grandparent scams | FTC Consumer Information  Grandparent scams in the age of Coronavirus | FTC Consumer Information Family Emergency Scams | FTC Consumer Information