Consumer Alert: Don’t be Scammed by your ‘Favorite Grandson’
Scammers are reviving an old ploy to swindle the elderly out of their money. The Arkansas Attorney General’s Office Public Protection Department has recently seen an uptick in reports of the “favorite grandson” scam.
These con artists prey on the elderly by calling and identifying themselves as the individual’s favorite grandson or other close relative, who is in serious trouble or has been in an accident and needs money wired right away, often to a location outside the United States. Unfortunately, wire transfers are similar to cash, and if the individual falls for the scheme, there is usually no way to get the money back.
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued today’s consumer alert to make people of all ages aware of this scam and to provide tips to avoid becoming a victim.
“These thieves will stop at nothing to take advantage of people,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “My office continues to work to protect the elderly. It is our duty to stop these scammers who pull at heartstrings to get at purse strings.”
Attorney General Rutledge offered the following tips to avoid falling victim to the “favorite grandson” scam:
- Resist pressure to act quickly.
- Never give or wire money based on any unsolicited phone call.
- Verify your family member’s location by directly calling another family member or the grandchild.
- Do not send money to an unknown account or entity.
- Ask the caller for his or her name, and if they cannot provide it, hang up immediately.
- Have a plan in place when family members are traveling so that you can easily identify whether or not a need is genuine.
- Contact the Attorney General’s Office at (800) 482-8982 if you have been a victim of this scam.
The Attorney General’s Office reports elderly Arkansans losing thousands of dollars after falling for this scam. The Federal Trade Commission reported 40,000 cases occurring in the United States between 2010 and 2013.