Most grandparents want the best for their grandchildren. So, when grandparents get a frantic phone call from someone claiming to be their grandchild asking for money, the grandparent wants to act and act quickly. The grandparent wants to help and do the best for their grandchild. However, sometimes it is not their grandchild, but a fraudster pretending to be their grandchild.
Some fraudsters who are acting as the “grandchild” are great actors. Some fraudsters have been known to actually cry over the phone which will disguise their true voice in order to gain sympathy and action by the grandparent. Some fraudsters will even cry in an attempt to sound more believable to gain your sympathy. By crying the call sounds more urgent, more important. Most likely it is a scam and often times not the true grandchild on the phone. It is a fraudster calling, trying to gain sympathy and action in order to obtain money.
The bold fraudster then will play upon the grandparent’s fears by telling the grandparent to not tell anyone-especially the child’s parent(s), because the child is “embarrassed” and doesn’t want their parent to know. The fraudster may say that money is urgently needed in order to pay something that the child’s parents would get mad about, like a traffic ticket or something else. The fraudster will then say that money is needed to take care of something, to put the money on a gift card to pay whatever needs to be paid to get them out of a jam. Most likely this is truly not the case.
- Never give your card number out to anyone you have not thoroughly checked out--especially over the phone. When in doubt, don’t give it out!
- Why would a gift card need to be purchased to pay a traffic ticket? Traffic tickets are not paid by gift cards.
- When in doubt hang up on any caller with whom you are not familiar. Just hang up!
- Contact the parent(s) of your grandchild to confirm what the child has said. Let someone know what is allegedly going on with your grandchild.
- When you have a suspicious caller on the line, ask them several questions to which only your true grandchild would have the correct answers. That way If the person (the fraudster) who has made a suspicious call to you doesn’t know the correct answers, hang up!
Contact your card issuer or after hours service immediately to block your card if you believe you have been the victim of a card scam. If you gave your card number out and an authorization has not yet been obtained, blocking your card can help prevent an authorization from being given and a transaction from going through.
Until next time,
March 27, 2018
- Shopping online is easy when you use reputable merchants.
- When using a debit card, you may select “credit”, which requires a signature and extends the $0 member liability under the VISA/MasterCard association rules.
- Limit the number of credit cards you travel with. Carrying multiple cards increases your chance of losing one or giving identity thieves multiple credit cards to steal from should your wallet or purse become stolen during your travels.
- When traveling, don’t clearly display your home address on your luggage. Instead use a work address or mobile phone number.
- Moving? Remember to update your cell phone number (and your address) so we can quickly reach you for suspicious transactions on your VISA card. Our 24-hour fraud monitoring service wants to contact you quickly. Supply a good phone number to us.
- Never carry government cards, passports, or birth certificates. These are the top 3 documents for identity theft.
- Should your VISA card come up missing, contact the card issuer immediately so your card can be blocked to help prevent fraud.
- Keep your VISA card in your possession & make sure you get it back after making meal purchases especially where the server might walk away with it.