Sunday was National Grandparents Day, in light of that the Better Business Bureau is warning about "emergency" scams designed to fool Grandparents into thinking that their grandchild is hurt, arrested or stranded, and in need of money. The "Grandparent Scam" has been around since 2008, but there has been a surge recently.
Scammers impersonate their victims and make up an urgent situation - "I've been arrested, mugged or in the hospital" - and target friends and family with urgent pleas for help, and money.
Know the red flags:
· Phone call is frantic or urgent
· Caller is in trouble or needs help
· Keep call confidential, don't tell his/her parents
· Wire money for bail/car repair/lawyers fees/hospital
What to do:
If you receive a call from a loved one in distress, BBB advises
· Do not disclose any information before confirmation
· If a caller says "It's me, Grandma!" don't respond with a name, but instead let the caller explain they are
· Confirm their identity. Ask a simple question the loved one would know such as what school he or she goes to or their middle name.
· Never wire money to anybody you can't confirm their identity