How the Grandparent Scam Works

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with IDTheftSecurity.com Inc

Remember when you were a kid, before “caller ID” (I’m showing my age here), you and your friends would make prank calls by picking up the phone and dialing any number and eventually someone would pick up the phone, you’d hang up, and laugh hard? Then do it another dozen times and with each call you would infuriate the caller, then laugh harder?

You learned that if you make enough calls, eventually you will get someone on the phone that was gullible and you could get a good laugh out of them over and over.

This same process/philosophy is what plays into telephone fraud scams. One of the easiest and most vile scams on the block is the “Grandparent Scam”.

The phone rings and an elderly person answers the phone. They may be slightly hard of hearing, and the caller says either “Grammy, Granny, Grandma, Nana, Nonna, Papa, Baba or Grandpa?” The elderly person says ‘Yes” and the caller states “It’s your grandson!” When the elderly person responds and rattles off a name of a grandchild and says “Robby is that you”, the scammer responds “YES!” and knows he’s got a fish on the hook.

Now that the “relationship” has been established the scammer proceeds to prey upon the good nature of the grandparent and uses their love of their grandchild against them. The scammer begins to hem and haw that they’ve been arrested or are stranded or car broke down or lost their wallet and need the grandparent to wire some money to them. Once the grandparent agrees they instruct the victim to go the address of the local check cashing place that wires money and the scammer siphons as much as possible out of their victim.

This scam works so well because the victim is hooked within the first minute of the call. Once the predator sinks their teeth into their victim they will work on them until they have no money left in the world.

If there is someone in your life that could possibly, even remotely fall for this scam you need to educate them on what to look for. Put systems in place to make it difficult for them to make financial withdrawals without a cosigner.

Robert Siciliano personal security expert to Home Security Source discussing home security and identity theft on TBS Movie and a Makeover.

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Rainmaker
326,407
Jon Quist
LONG REALTY - Tucson, AZ
Tucson's BUYERS ONLY Realtor since 1996

We used to play phone tricks too. I remember way before caller ID too!

But the crooks will always come out of the woodwork, or from under a rock.

Dec 28, 2010 12:25 AM #1
Ambassador
830,672
Fred Griffin
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Real Estate Broker

Capital Punishment is the appropriate punishment for those who prey on the Elderly and Senior Citizens.

Dec 28, 2010 12:28 AM #2
Rainmaker
1,345,674
Vickie Nagy
Vickie Nagy, Broker Associate Realty ONE Group BMC Associates | BRE#01363932 - San Ramon, CA
Broker for San Ramon, Danville, Dublin, Pleasanton

It's sad but true to say that there are all too many active scammers out there working to get your money!

Dec 28, 2010 12:38 AM #3
Rainmaker
101,562
Robert T. Boyer
FHA Loan, VA Loan, Jumbo Loan,FHA Loans,VA Loans,Jumbo Loans - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Real Estate & Mortgage Loans, Ph.D. | VA Home Loan

Wow... hadn't thought about that... but I can see how easily it could work.  I agree with Fred.

Dec 28, 2010 03:26 AM #4
Rainmaker
1,070,278
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

Wow - this is horrible.  Good that you are getting the word out.  I hope these types of people get caught!

Jan 09, 2011 09:34 PM #5
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Robert Siciliano

Realty Security and Identity Theft Expert Speaker
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