Spring break will bring increase in grandparent scam

Updated March 17, 2019
Spring break will bring increase in grandparent scam

Colleges will soon be taking their spring break.  This is a time for young college students to hit the beach with their friends in warmer parts of the country or even out of country with little thought of their grandparents.  However, spring break and grandparents are prime ingredients for the well-known “grandparent scam.”  
Woman on phone
Most people are familiar with the scam where the grandparent receives a phone call from someone pretending to be their grandchild who is in trouble legally or medically in a far-away place.  The caller pleads to the grandparent to send money immediately in order to alleviate the problem and begs the grandparent not to tell mom or dad.  These scammers may even know the name of the grandchild.  

You may wonder how anyone could fall for this scam.  These scammers, however, can be very persuasive.  They often use social media to find college students that are traveling during spring break.  The scammers know that grandparents will do almost anything for their grandchild and will use this to their advantage.  If you have a college student, make sure to inform your parents about this scam.  Let them know they should not respond to such a call, and they should call you for confirmation. Tell them to never wire money.  Once money is wired, it can never be retrieved. 

Also, anyone traveling abroad should register with the State Department’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program at https://step.state.gov. This program can help with communications in an emergency situation. 

The “Grandparent Scam” has been around for many years.  Despite the publicity around this scam, seniors are still falling victim to it.  Don’t let the criminals scam your family out of their money.  Talk to your parents about this scam