Watch Out For the Family Member Money Scam
We would do anything for family, right? This includes bailing them out of bad situations. I've totally been in this position. You're likely one of the easiest people to scam. Find out exactly what you're looking for - and trying to avoid.
It starts with a phone call. It's a family member in trouble and they are looking for you to help them out of their situation. This happened to a women right here in Idaho.
They Are Well-Researched
The woman answered the phone and the person on the other end said he was her grandson-in-law. He and his friend had been pulled over and his friend had drugs on him. The alleged grandson was crying and said he was being arrested for his friend's crime. This woman said it sounded just like the actual grandson in-law she knew.
The scammer knew where the woman's family lived and said he was there. They also put a "police officer" on the phone who provided names and badge numbers. This blows my mind how many details were researched before the scammers made their first phone call. Oh, and by the way, the grandmother was told to keep things quiet.
It worked. The scam ended up making them $8,150.
They Come Back For More
As if that wasn't enough (or maybe it was too easy), the scammers asked for more. They actually called back to ask for another $8,000. The woman didn't have it but then started worrying that she couldn't help out.
Realizing It Was A Scam
This whole issue had to be bothering this sweet grandmother because she confided in her real granddaughter who knew something was up. It was too weird of a situation.
I would see red if someone was trying to take advantage of my grandma. How dare you steal money from her as she lives on a fixed income? That's low.
The granddaughter did exactly what I would do and helped report the issue. They also called the real grandson-in-law who obviously knew nothing about it.
The money can't be sent back so it was an $8,000 mistake (thankfully not $16,000).
Lesson and Advice
The lesson: Don't pick up the phone if you don't recognize the number and certainly don't send anyone money so quickly. If you are to send money, avoid any prepaid cards, wire transfers or cash payments. Those can't be traced. Had this been on a credit card or another form of payment, this sweet grandmother could have that $8,150 back in her bank account and the scammers behind bars.
You May Be The Target
It's likely you. Yep, hi. Young adults are the easiest to scam. Think about how many posts you have on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. You can get to know someone quickly and get to know about their likes and dislikes. By the time you get a phone call or email (or anything, really), the scammer can sound legit. Guys, if we're narrowing it down even more, you're the one they're going after. Young women are more cautious by just enough.