Are You an Old Person? Don't Fall for the Grandparent Scam!

Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

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!

"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.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.


Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.