Everyday countless grandparents fall for the call from “Jimmy”. And respond by wiring him money . . . they do it out of love, of which scammers easily take advantage.
Telephone scammers have formed organized crime rings and are gathering just enough information about folks from Facebook and other social sites, telephone surveys, newspapers (especially obituaries), hacked email accounts and other data floating around.
There are no free vacations, no lottery winnings, no rich relatives whose attorney is calling, and your grandson is not in jail needing bail money. They are just professional scammers and they’ve ripped off more than 25,000 older Americans who have sent them over $110 million! And usually once they’ve got you to “buy in”, they’ll ask for incremental larger amounts in order to resolve a problem that’s been the reason you’d give them money in the first place — like emergency medical care, bail bonds, traffic fines, etc.
An AARP writer suggests that you protect yourself by employing these techniques:
1. Don’t be fooled by detailed phone greetings from someone you believe is a relative.
2. No matter where they say they are, they are typically calling from Canada using numbers that can be disguised or even disposable cell phones whose numbers are hard to trace.
3. Scammers routinely ask for wire transfers. With forged identification and a tracking number, they can easily access the transfers. It’s the same as delivering cash.
4. They are sophisticated and have conducted extensive research on you and your family, and they often pose as police officers, lawyers, or hospital workers. And lastly,