It happened again. Someone's poor grandparents got scammed again out of their hard-earned money. It happens innocently enough. Grandma and Grandpa get a phone call, telling them that you have been captured or found yourself in jail.

Yep, something has happened to their sweet cherub of a grandchild and the only person who can help you out is them. This 'helping' out that grandma and grandpa can do involves a significant amount of money. Money that is theirs.

The New York State Police Department has a few things that they suggest you do when you first get contacted by these scammers so you don't go sending them all of your money or doing anything else that they want you to do:

  • Take a pause. Does it sound too nutty? It probably is.
  • Double check what is going on with someone else. Anyone else. Is there any chance that there is another family member you can call to verify that something happened?
  • Never send cash or pre-paid debit cards in the mail. Also, don't buy gift cards and then read people the serial numbers off the back to people on the phone or via email.
  • Set up a code word with the family so that in case of an emergency, all the family members will instantly notice that it is either a fake or a real situation.
  • If you can, get the person who is claiming to be your family member on the phone and ask them questions that they should immediately know the answers to.  Don't know the answers, then they are not your family.
  • If you don't have or can't get ahold of family or friends to run these things past, call the New York State Police Department. (518) 783-3211

Remember, that you are great grandparents, and you are not letting your grandchild down by taking a few minutes to just double check before you do anything.

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