The FTC reports more than $40 million was stolen from elders who fell for the grandparent scam. That’s $14 million more than what was stolen just one year earlier. Scammers are adapting the scam to trick seniors into falling for it.
Elders used to be asked to wire money or purchase gift cards. Now, scammers are requiring seniors to mail or ship cash to the scammer. Teach your parent to quickly identify the scam by using these tips from seniors who have dealt with the scam personally.
How These Scams Work
The grandparent scam is so believable because the scammers do their research. They look up family connections on genealogy websites and forums. They use social media to find current posts and pictures that announce when someone is on a trip.
Using this information, they create a believable script. A grandson is on spring break in Florida and gets a DUI. The scammer poses as a lawyer who says the grandson needs money immediately for bail and lawyer fees. Scammers can make this believable if they find Facebook posts about a grandson having a beer at a bar in Miami. He’s really there, so the grandparent believes the scammer.
How Seniors Are Avoiding the Grandparent Scam
One senior got a call saying his grandson was driving drunk and crashed into another woman’s car. That woman was pregnant and wanted cash to avoid taking the grandson to court. He recognized the scam and got the information to mail cash.
His next step was to call the police and work with them to catch the scammers. While the marked package was mailed, authorities were in the shadows waiting to arrest the people who picked up the package.
A Connecticut grandmother got a call that was very realistic. After talking to the scammer, she hung up and called her grandson. He informed her he was fine and doesn’t even drink. Knowing to call him prevented her from falling for the scam. It was a smart move.
Companionship Services Can Lower the Risk of Elders Talking to a Scammer
Caregivers provide companionship, which can keep your parents from wanting to talk to scammers online or on the phone. There’s also the risk of your parent not understanding it’s a scam. If your parent struggles with technology, make sure they have guidance when answering a phone call, reading emails, or using social media. Do this by hiring elder care services.
In addition to companionship services, elder care providers help with household chores like laundry, cleaning, and meals. They can answer the door and phone, drive your parents to the store, and schedule appointments. Call our elder care agency to discuss your parents’ needs and budget.
If you or an aging loved one are in need of Elder Care Services in Huntington NY or the surrounding areas, contact the caring professionals at Star Multi Care Services today at (631)956-8835. We are the Right Choice for Home Health Care Services!
From 1978 to 1986, Sternbach was associated with Automated Data Processing, Inc. (“ADP”)–a provider of information services, where he held several marketing positions before becoming the Director of Sales.
1999-2008 Sternbach was an active participant on the Board of Directors for Proginet–a computer software company based in Garden City, New York. He also served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society from 1996-2002.
In 1996, Stephen Sternbach was named “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Ernst & Young, Paine Webber and NASDAQ. Sternbach was also named in Crain’s New York Business Article, “40 Under 40” Successful Business Executives/Future Business Leaders in 1995. While maintaining a diversity of business and personal interests, Sternbach concentrated most of his efforts over the past 28 years towards continuously improving the quality of services delivered by the Star Multi Care Services’ family of companies.
Stephen Sternbach holds a Master of Public Administration from Syracuse University – Maxwell School of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Industrial Relations and Personnel Administration from Ithaca College.
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