When a Meridian grandmother received a call from Barcelona, Spain, saying it was her grandson and he’d been in an accident and needed a little help, she was quick to act.
“Please, don’t tell mom and dad, I don’t want them to worry,” the caller said.
She hung up the phone, called her grandson who is a member of the military in San Diego, Calif., and confirmed that he was safe and in the United States.
When the caller returned the call, she promptly told him, “I know you’re not my grandson, you’re a scam artist!”
With that, the phone line went dead.
BBB serving the Snake River Region has received several calls just today from a group calling the region and pretending to be a grandchild in distress. Well-meaning senior citizens who think they are helping a grandchild in distress may fall victim to the so-called "Grandparent Scam.”
"When we heard the loving grandmother say she had confirmed that her grandson was safe, and told off the scammers, we all applauded," says Robb Hicken, chief storyteller with the BBB.
In the past week, BBB serving the Snake River Region has received four calls from concerned grandparents who recognized the scam.
Remember, if you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild in distress, don't disclose any information before you have confirmed it really is your grandchild.
If a caller says "It's me, grandma!" don't simply respond with a name but, instead, let the caller explain who he or she is. One easy way to confirm their identity is to ask a simple question that your grandchild would know such as what grade school attended, their middle name, or a favorite pet’s name.
If you have fallen victim to the scam, BBB recommends you report the incident immediately to the local police and state Attorneys General office. If there is a request to wire money to Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre has established the PhoneBusters hotline and Web site to report such fraud. Reports can be filed easily online through the PhoneBusters site at: www.phonebusters.com, or by phone, toll free at, 1-888-495-8501.
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