The FBI and Houston elder-law attorney Kimberly Hegwood are warning folks of a dastardly scam targeting the elderly: "Often referred to as the 'Grandparent Scam' by the FBI, unsuspecting seniors are finding themselves awakened late at night or early in the morning by a 'grandchild' claiming to have been mugged while out of town, or under arrest and afraid to call mom or dad for bail money," according to a press release from Hegwood.
What a bunch of pricks!
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"Thanks to social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, these scams have gotten so sophisticated that con artists are able to use the grandchild's correct name and sprinkle in other personal details about the grandchild (i.e., where they go to college, recent trips, name of significant others), causing grandparents to believe the pleas for cash are legitimate," Hegwood says in the release.
Hegwood advises seniors to "keep pushing for more personal details before handing over sensitive bank account information or credit card numbers." (Hair Balls also suggests just telling the "grandchild" to fuck off -- nothing builds character like a few days in a Tijuana jail!)
Seniors should pay attention to how they're "addressed at the start of the call. If a grandchild has always referred to the grandparent as 'mom-mom' or 'nana,' someone who calls asking for 'grandmother' is likely a con artist," according to the release.
Check out the FBI's site for more tips on how to avoid being scammed.