>> Tuesday, August 26, 2008
A momentary break from the usual crafts for a public service announcement: There is a scam going around in which "grandchildren" call their grandparents asking for money quickly. My grandmother was just duped out of $3600 because someone claiming to be my cousin said she was in a car accident and needed money so that no one would need to know. Obviously there are holes in this story, but these scammers prey on older people who are ready to help their grandchildren. Read an AARP release here.
So please warn your grandparents or older people you know to pause if they get one of these calls. They should call the family member directly to see if that person needs help -- in other words, call the person back at their known phone number. In addition, report the call to the police; if they grab the number from caller ID, all the better. Finally if you or someone you know works at a place that sells money orders or does wire transfers, ask them to warn people. They may be able to stop this scam by asking their customer if they have simply called the grandchild back. If they recommend making the call and waiting for a call back, they could spare many grandparents from being scammed.