Monday, March 16, 2009

Scam Alert!

There is a new scam which targets grandparents. The scammer calls someone and pretends to be their grandchild. They may know the names of family members or they may trick the grandparent into saying the name of the grandchild. The scammer then pretends that he is on trouble. For example, he or she may say that their car broke down, they are stuck in a foreign country, or that they need bail money to get out of jail. Then, they ask their "grandparent" to wire them money, but not to tell their parents.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) recommends that if you get such a call, you should not act immediately and send the money. Instead, take the time to verify the caller's identity by asking them questions to which only family members know the answer. In addition, try to reach the parents of the grandchild to find out if this is a hoax. If you can't reach a family member to verify the story, the FTC recommends that you contact your local police on their non-emergency line and ask for their assistance. You can call the FTC at 1-877-382-4357 to report possible fraud.

The FTC has more information about this scam here.

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