BBB warns of ‘Grandparent scams’

The Better Business Bureau warns this time of year there's an uptick in the grandparent scam.
Published: Mar. 20, 2022 at 7:51 AM CDT
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - It’s spring break for a lot of kids this week, and the Better Business Bureau warns this time of year there’s an uptick in the grandparent scam.

Whitey Quick explains more about it.

“Somebody will call a family member or a friend in the middle of the night and pretend to be somebody else saying that they need help somewhere else. So for instance, they’ll get a phone call and say hi Nana, this is Whitney. I’m in jail in Mexico I need $5,000 Don’t call my mom. So immediately because it’s in the middle of the night it catches everyone off guard. You know, they want to do the right thing. They want to help whoever it is on the other side of the line, because the sense of urgency and makes them think, you know, that really sounded just like my grandchild. And we’ve heard from several victims of this scam. You know, I really thought that that was my grandson. It sounded just like him. He called me by, you know, the name that he calls me. So it’s really important during these times to communicate, especially if you are a college student or a high school student who is going out of the country on spring break, but also if you are somebody who receives a call like this, you want to stay calm, because scammers really depend on you being you know shook and want to act immediately because that sense of urgency will make you not think clearly so that you will probably fall for the scam a lot easier. If this does happen to you, just always remember, stay calm. Ask questions that only you and this other person would know. So make sure that you kind of have those conversations ahead of time. Another thing is don’t wire money. And we talk about this a lot,” Whitney Quick said.

“Don’t wire money to anyone that you don’t know but definitely don’t wire money without being 100% certain that this is an emergency that you need to wire money for. If somebody asked for prepaid debit cards, that should be a red flag for you as well. Always remember that when you wire money or pay increase in prepaid debit cards, that it is the same thing as cash. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. There’s no way to trace it and there’s no way to get it back. And then also make a report. If this is something that has happened to you make sure that you call the police and make sure that you report the scam to BBB scam tracker,” Quick said.

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