Although it has been going on for years, many people are still falling prey to the “Grandparent Scam” where grandparents get telephone calls from scammers posing as grandchildren in trouble in need of money for bail, car repairs, lawyer’s fees or other matters. The scammers lure the grandparents into wiring the money to the scammers. Now this scam has extended to other family members other than grandparents and following apparent breaches at some military bases, scammers are calling the families of service members seeking money pretending to be family service members.
One of the prime sources of information that the scammers use in obtaining personal information to use in order to pose as a family member is social media such as Facebook. People should be wary of all of the information they include on their social media and remember that knowledge of these details does not mean that the person calling is who he or she purports to be. If you believe there is a real emergency, first contact other family members to confirm the location of the individual and if the scammer claims to be in a hospital or a jail, find the real telephone number of the hospital or jail to confirm the story you are told. Chances are, it is a scam.