Watch out for a new twist to the grandparent scam

Posted at 8:02 AM, Feb 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-09 09:02:32-05

Here is heads up about a new twist to the grandparent scam.

If you get a call asking you to mail money to a desperate grandchild or loved one, watch out. It could be a scam.

In recent months, the Federal Trade Commission has noted a sharp increase in the amount of money that seniors have lost to the grandparent scam. The median cash sent last year by people age 70 plus was $9,000.

The grandparent scam involves an imposter who calls a senior, posing as a grandchild who is in trouble and needs money. The scammer asks the grandparent to promise not to tell anyone. Previously, they asked for these funds to be wired or provided via an iTunes card. But, in a new twist, they are asking seniors to mail cash that gets tucked into a magazine.

Some may think that they could never fall for this type of scam, but the scammers are very good at disguising their voice or explaining why their voice sounds different. They might also use specific details that they have obtained from social media sites. And, their story can sound so sad and desperate, that it tugs at the heartstrings of a vulnerable senior.

If you get a call like this, and are unsure if it is a scam, do not provide funds or personal information until you can check things out. Contact the grandchild at a number that you know is legitimate, or ask for help from another family member or friend.

If you suspect that you have been targeted by this type of scam report it to the Federal Trade Commission.Your information could help others from getting taken.