The odds are good that your grandparents are a bit behind technologically. Many are still getting used to cell phones, computers, and social media. Because of this, it may be up to you to make sure your grandparents don’t fall victim to unscrupulous individuals who prey on the elderly. Specifically, don’t let grandma get scammed by a Granny Scammer!
What is a Granny Scammer you may be asking? “Granny Scammer” is a name given to a specific type of scam artist who uses social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter to search out elderly victims and then gain enough personal information from the sites to pull a scam. Here is how it works:
Because most elderly users are unfamiliar with the privacy setting options on social media most of them have pages that are completely open to the public. Once a potential victim is identified, the Granny Scammer spends time gathering information from the victim’s page. The names of the victim’s grandchildren, cities where they live, and even when and where they plan to vacation can be found just by following someone’s Facebook posts. The scammer then finds the victim’s telephone number – which can also be found on their page– and makes a telephone call pretending to be the victim’s grandchild.
The scammer has a story ready that relays some type of emergency and the grandchild needs grandma to wire money immediately to resolve the problem. If the scammer has enough personal information, the grandma is convinced and wires the funds immediately.
Scams such as this are easily pulled off for several reasons. An Elderly victim may not know enough about technology to realize the scam artists could have obtained personal information from the internet. Second, elderly victims are often hard of hearing and may not notice the voice is a bit off. Finally, grandparents are usually more than willing to help their grandkids and scam artists know this.
The best way to protect your grandparents, or other elderly loved ones, is to educate them about technology and warn them about the existence of scam artists. The few hours you spend going over internet dos and don’ts could save your grandparents from becoming a victim.
If you have additional questions or concerns about elder issues, contact the experienced Illinois elder law attorneys at Nash Bean Ford & Brown, LLP by calling 309-944-2188 to schedule your appointment today.