When Phone Scams Target Those We Love.
Phone scams are a dime a dozen these days and ones that target elderly are a big issue, stealing hundreds of millions from the elderly each year. These scams are especially heinous targeting the kindness of people and preying on fears.
Recently both of my Grandmothers were targeted by a phone scam commonly called the "grandparent scam." In this scam, the caller pretends to be a grandchild or relative of the person targeted. They will start the call off with lines like "hello grandma can you guess who this is" or "Hello grandpa it's your eldest grandchild." They are phishing for more information to help build the scam. The scam usually continues by saying they are in an emergency and need help. The scammer may tell them they need to wire cash or call a number to talk to a lawyer or another authority figure to help get them the money they need. In some cases, the caller may even start off saying they represent the relative that needs help. Often times the scammer pleads that their parents should not be informed and that help is needed urgently. While it may sound like a simple scam, the scammers are well practiced at their craft, preying on the tendency toward goodwill within the family.
Thankfully, my grandmothers did not give the callers money or personal info, but my grandmother that was targeted first was left upset and shaken by the call thinking that I was in real danger and she was unable to help me. I was able to warn my other grandma of the scam and she was able to nip it in the bud quickly when she was targeted, giving them an earful that they weren't expecting.
I despise robo and scam calls as I am sure most of you do - they are waste of our time, a huge annoyance, and can be devastating to our family lives if we become a victim or even target of their attacks. This holiday season, take the time to inform the less tech savvy, less connected and the elderly in your life about the types of scams that might target them. The grandparent scam isn't the only one. Others like the medical equipment or medicare scams are just as dangerous. Take the time to add or assist adding vulnerable loved ones numbers to the national do not call registry
to stop telemarketing calls and warn them to never give out personal information over the phone to a person whose identity cannot be verified and confirmed to save them from being scammed.
If you or someone you know has been targeted by phone scams or may have fallen victim to one reach out to your local police to report the crime and get help immediately. If financial information was exposed your financial institution(s) should be informed immediately as well.
- Joey Macaluso, NocTel Support Team