The grandparent scam involves a scammer exploiting the love and generosity of a grandparent by posing as their grandchild in trouble and in need of money.
Scammers will place a call to an older adult and when they answer, the scammer will say something along the lines of: “Hi Grandma, do you know who this is?” When the grandparent says the name of the grandchild, the scammer can establish the fake identity of the grandchild.
Once the connection is made, the scammer posing as the grandchild, will ask for money convincing the grandparent that they are assisting them in paying for transportation home from a foreign country, medical treatment, or even bail. The grandparent will come to the aid of the grandchild sending the requested money via Western Union or MoneyGram, which often does not require identification for the recipient to collect funds. The scammer, acting as the grandchild, will often plead with the grandparent not to contact their parents or other loved ones. They may claim the need is too urgent, or beg the grandparent “please don’t tell my parents, they would kill me.”