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July 26, 2012 / Narine Khngikyan

Grandparent Scams: Newest Trend in Consumer Fraud

May is “Older American Awareness Month,” which celebrates America’s senior citizens. While there are many advantages to growing old, there are also many reasons for older Americans to be concerned about   fraudulent consumer activity specifically directed at seniors.  With May being a month to recognize the elderly, it’s also a good time to educate them on the possible scams they may be vulnerable to.

A new wave of elder consumer fraud appropriately titled, “grandparent scams” are on the rise. They take place in early   morning, and result in the  elder receiving a phone call from an imposter acting as their grandchild who has found themselves in a emergency and needs financial help immediately. The caller usually asks the grandparent not to mention anything to the grandchild’s parents because will worry the parents but more importantly, cover their tracks. These kinds of scams happen all the time and are designed to take advantage of a grandparent’s love and generosity.

In an effort to help avoid  consumer frauds such as this, seniors should keep these three things in mind:
1) Think about the Request. If the scammer requires an immediate decision which leaves you feeling pressured, delay the decision until all your questions and concerns have been answered.

2) Be Wary of Requests for Money. Seniors should be cautious of all requests that require wire transfers, especially those over the internet. If you receive a claim or request from an unfamiliar party that leaves you suspicious, trust your instincts.

3) Prizes and Charities. If you get a call  notifying you about a prize you’ve won or an offer to make a charitable donation, first check out the business before agreeing to anything. Resources like the Better Business Bureau and Angie’s List for local organizations are great references that will provide more information   about an organization or business.

If you feel you have been a victim of consumer fraud, please contact Khorrami, LLP for confidential consultation.

 

Image courtesy of abcnews.go.com

 

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