Family and friend imposter scams led to $41 million in losses during 2018. The number of older adults being scammed by the grandparent scam keeps increasing. As media and police agencies try to raise awareness, scammers change the scheme to be more realistic.
Over the years, scammers have switched from demanding gift cards to telling the victim to mail the cash in a box through courier services. Some scammers are getting more and more convincing by making their voices sound just like the grandchild’s. How do they do that? Online voice duplication software and access to a video from social media or recorded answers on voicemail make it easy.
Make sure your parents are up on the latest changes to this scam. There are ways your parents can make sure they’re not conned by scammers who call. Make sure they know these tips.
Repetitive Calls From One Number Is a Key Sign of the Grandparent Scam
Scammers who run the grandparent scam will often keep calling a number over and over in a matter of minutes to show a sense of urgency. Once someone answers, they’ll be aggressive and demanding. They tap into emotions using threats of harm or greater injury if immediate action isn’t taken.
If your parents’ phone rings multiple times in a row and seems insistent, it’s likely a scam. They need to not answer the phone. If it was truly important, the caller would leave a message.
Set a Family Q&A to Verify Your Identity
The easiest way to shut down a grandparent scam is by asking for an answer to a family question. The scammer won’t know it. Come up with a question that is not easy to answer. Scammers won’t know it because it’s not something they can find online.
When a scammer calls and claims to be a grandchild, your parent needs to say “if you’re my grandchild, you’ll know the answer to this question.” When the scammer claims to have forgotten or is too stressed to remember, your parent should hang up and call you. Report all scam calls to the FTC to help put an end to them.
Some seniors admit that they’re lonely and more likely to answer the phone for that reason. Make sure your parent isn’t lonely by arranging companionship services. Senior care agencies will send a caregiver to your parents’ house as often as you want. That caregiver provides companionship and helps with any tasks that cause your parent difficulty.
Senior care providers can drive your parents to area businesses, help them with grocery shopping, or schedule appointments. They can do the laundry, change sheets, make the bed, and cook dinner. Call our senior care agency to learn more.