Although this scam is by no means new, it is having a bit of a resurgence lately with recent reports of the scam reappearing in nineteen states. Law enforcement believes that many of the scammers inflicting this scam upon unwary grandparents are located overseas. Generally the scam starts when a grandparent receives a telephone call from someone purporting to be their grandchild, who has encountered problems, such as an automobile accident, an arrest or other emergency while traveling in another country. The “grandchild” then pleads with the grandparent to send money to assist the grandchild in need. The money is requested to be sent by wire. Often the scammer will provide details that “prove” he or she is the grandchild, however, this proof may have been merely taken from social media sites or other easily accessible sources. A significant number of grandparent scam calls have followed a death in a family where family names may have appeared in an obituary.
If you receive such a call, contact the parents or other source of accurate information as to the correct whereabouts of the grandchild. Always be wary of requests to wire funds because once money is wired, it is almost impossible to get the money back.