The Better Business Bureau is warning senior citizens of a scam in which criminals call and pose as a grandchild or other family member. They generally impersonate a loved one in distress, calling or urging you to wire them money.
The goal is to trick you into sending them money before you realize it’s a scam, saying they need cash to help in an emergency situation such as: getting out of jail, paying a hospital bill or needing to leave a foreign country. Scammers usually play on your emotions and insist you keep their request for money confidential to keep you from checking out their story.
Experts encourage targets to follow these instructions:
- Resist acting immediately, regardless of how drastic the situation sounds.
- Ask the caller questions that a stranger could not possibly answer.
- Verify the situation by calling/ texting the family member in question or another family member.
- Don’t wire money or send a check or money order by overnight delivery.
- Report possible fraud to the Federal Trade Commission or call 1-877-FTC-HELP.