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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Senior Scams

Tuesday August 20:  Something scary happened tonight.  I went to my mom and grandmothers house to help my mom out.  I am not there more than just a few minutes when my mom starts telling me about a phone call my grandmother got.  Apparently my 'brother' is in 'Germany' and got into a 'car accident' and then got 'arrested' for having 'pot' in his car.  He is now in 'jail' and needs 1700 to get out.

First of all, my brother is NOT in Germany.  He wouldn't leave the country without calling.  This got my grandmother panicky and she called my mom at work.  My mom got on the phone with my brother immediately and found out that this is NOT true.

Go back to last week.  I don't remember the details, mostly because I didn't think much of it at the time, but I answered my grandmothers phone and some man (not boy) was asking for 'grandma'.  It was not any of my kids.  It was not my brother.  Like I said - I didn't think anything of it.  Maybe a wrong number, maybe a confused person.  Whatever.  I never thought about it again, until tonight. 

Well, mom said this has been going on a while.  I have gotten the same thing via email - from my pastor, his wife (diff countries and dates, go figure), from my best friend.....  I delete it and tell the sender that their email was hacked.  No BD.  Well, this is WAY diff in my book. 

After doing very little research I found the same scam and how they probably got my brothers name.  Just Google "Grandma phone scam."  There are a lot of results - all on the same one I have been talking about.

Ok, so now you get the picture.  Don't let grandma answer the phone.  We will see how well that works!  haha.

I unfortunately don't have an answer on how to fix this - although I wish I did. 

Number one - KEEP PERSONAL INFO OFF FACEBOOK - this should be a no-brainer, but it causes problems for people every day

Number two - BEWARE - keep in contact with family and know where they are.  Even a quick text so they know you are ok.

Any other advice?

UPDATE - 8/21/13

I was at my grandmothers this morning (this is the next day!) and she got another call.  I had just got finished telling her not to answer any call she doesn't know, and the phone rings. 
The young man said "Hi grandma (may have been grandpa) guess who this is"  this time she knows.  
She says "I don't know, who is this?" 
He says "It's one of your favorite grandsons"

First of all  - we don't call her grandma
Second - how many grandsons does he think she has?!

The call went on for a minute and I convinced her to deceive the caller, then hang up.  Just wish she wouldn't have answered at all.  We will have that conversation - again, and again.

UPDATE - 3/8/14

This time I get the call.  My son answers (I don't usually answer unknown numbers on my cell.  I also don't like to talk and drive (he is 15 and watching extra close).  My son answers and said it sounds like grandma.  He was confused because grandmas number would come up on caller id.  I take the phone (NEVER talk and drive!) and say hello.  The caller calls me by name and says "This is your grandma"  Again, we don't call my grandmother 'grandma.'  I didn't listen or argue, but once I figured out what was going on I simply hung up.  This is getting frustrating!

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