Thursday, May 28, 2015

Elder Abuse - The Grandparent Scam

When people think about elder abuse, they might not consider one of the most common ways seniors are victimized: scams that target elders. 
One of the most common scams going around—you might even call it an epidemic—is what’s called “The Grandparent Scam.” If you have seniors in your life, take a minute to warn them about this common form of fraud—which is particularly cruel because it takes advantage of a grandparent’s love.
Here’s a short introduction from the National Center on Elder Abuse:
Q: What is the “grandparent scam”?
A: The “grandparent scam” is a scam that targets the elderly in an attempt to steal large sums of money through a wire transfer. Financial losses from this scam are usually several thousand dollars per victim.
Q: How does it happen?
A: A grandparent receives a phone call or email from someone who claims to be a grandchild. (Sometimes, the caller claims to be a police officer, lawyer, doctor or other person.) The person states that they are traveling in a foreign country and have gotten into a bad situation. The person claims to need money wired ASAP.
Q: What can I do?
A: Resist the pressure to act quickly. Contact your grandchild or another family member to determine whether the call is legitimate. Never wire money based on a request made over the phone or in an email, especially overseas.
Q: What if I have been scammed?
A: Contact your local law enforcement or state consumer protection agency. File a complaint with Internet Complaint Center (IC3) at
These crooks are very skilled at fooling people of any age—but they most often target older adults. It’s worth having a conversation about this topic. To get the conversation started, here is a video recommended by the U.S. Administration for Community Living that you can watch together.
Source: IlluminAge AgeWise reporting on information from the National Center on Elder Abuse ( Find more resources and outreach tools for World Elder Abuse Day 2015 on the U.S. Administration for Community Living website

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