Elderly Illinois Woman Taken For $6,000 In “Grandparents Scam”
The so-called "Grandparents Scam," also known as the "Emergency Scam," is a particularly nasty con-job that's aimed at older people for a few reasons:
- Scammers count on grandparents being willing to do almost anything to help their grandchildren out of a big problem, no matter what time of day or night.
- Scammers know that many grandparents have money that they'll gladly part with to get their grandchildren out of whatever jam that the grandchild has gotten into.
- Scammers also know that senior citizens are reluctant to admit that they've been swindled, for fear of losing control over their finances when their adult children find out what happened.
When you factor in those things, you can see why the Grandparents/Emergency Scam is used so often by criminals--it produces monetary results for the scammer, and it's difficult to catch the perps after they've run off with the money.
The Police Department In Palos Park Is Getting The Word Out And Warning Seniors After A Local Woman Fell Victim To The Grandparents/Emergency Scam Recently And Lost $6,000
Before we continue on, here's how the Grandparents/Emergency Scam works, and why it's so nasty, according to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC):
The scammers call and impersonate a grandchild – or another close relative – in a crisis situation, asking for immediate financial assistance. Sometimes these callers “spoof” the caller ID to make an incoming call appear to be coming from a trusted source.
Often the imposter claims to have been in an accident or arrested. The scammer may ask the grandparent “please don’t let mom and dad know,” and may hand the phone over to someone posing as a lawyer seeking immediate payment.
Unfortunately, bad actors can now use artificial intelligence technology “to mimic voices, convincing people, often the elderly, that their loved ones are in distress,” according to a recent Washington Post article.
There's Been No Word On Whether Or Not The Perps Used AI Technology To Scam The Palos Park Victim, But Whatever They Told Her Was Very Effective
When the unnamed victim got the call from scammers, she honestly believed that it was her own granddaughter calling her, and that the girl was in deep trouble with the police and needed bail money right away. Palos Park Police say that the grandmother was given multiple reasons not to contact the girls parents.
The call came on Monday from a young female posing as the woman’s granddaughter, who said she was being held by Chicago police on various charges and needed bond money immediately.
The woman went to her bank, where she withdrew money. She met a man near her home who was sent to collect it and handed him $6,000. Police said the man was wearing a surgical mask. She quickly realized she had been scammed and contacted police.
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Gallery Credit: Stacker