LIFE

The Scary Reason You Should Hang Up If A Stranger Ever Calls You ‘Grandma’ On The Phone

by Rebecca Endicott
Becca is a writer and aspirational dog owner living in NYC.

Older folks be warned: Scammers are trying to target people over the age of 50 with the cruel ‘Hey Grandma’ phone scam.

Phone scams aren’t new. People have practically been using telephones to try to con people since Alexander Graham Bell first placed a call.

In the past, we have seen devious and sneaky scams like the ‘Can you hear me?’ phone con take off.

Unfortunately, criminals who work on the phone are always changing their tactics. The latest trick involves attempting to trick older folks into thinking that they’re taking a call from their grandkid.

Bad guys often try to target older people, assuming that they’ll be less technologically savvy and might get sucked into the scam.

We’re here to make sure that doesn’t happen! It’s about time that phone crooks learn an important lesson: You have to get pretty clever to pull the wool over Grandma’s eyes!

Scroll through below to learn how the scam works, and what you can do to avoid becoming a victim of the ‘Hey Grandma’ phone scam.

H/T: Woman’s Day

Crooked thieves are trying to part old folks with their money using a simple — and astonishingly cruel — ploy.

It’s called the ‘Hey Grandma’ phone scam, and it works just as you would expect.

The con artist calls number after number, and if someone picks up, he says, “Hey, Grandma!”

The whole point of the scam is to trick the person who picks up into believing that they’re grandchild is on the other end.

Usually, the caller will also try to make it seem like the grandchild is in serious trouble.

They might call and immediately say, “Grandma, you have to help me. I’m in trouble.”

If Grandma then answers, “Oh my, Jason, is that you?” or something similar, the crook has the toehold he needs.

Once the conman has someone ‘hooked’ on the idea of a beloved grandchild in trouble, he will try to convince the grandparent that he needs money.

There will usually be a sob story: a medical emergency, a late paycheck, or car trouble.

No matter what, the problem will be very urgent and it will require a large sum of money, usually at least several thousand dollars.

They will ask the grandparent to send a cashier’s check or cash, or to wire money directly into a bank account, as quickly as possible.

You might think that very few people would fall for this, but one grandma who fell for the scam explains that you forget to be rational when you believe someone you love is in danger.

According to Woman’s Day, she wired $18,000 to a bank account because she believed her grandson had been arrested for drunk driving.

Many grandparents will be initially suspicious, because the voice on the phone might not sound like their beloved grandchild.

Still, the scammers always have an explanation. Sometimes they say that they have a broken nose because of the trouble they’re in.

At other times, they’ll pose as a police officer who supposedly has the grandchild in custody.

No matter what, their goal is to play on the emotional triggers of the grandparent.

Scammers have said that they prefer to prey on people over 65 because they tend to be a bit more vulnerable to this kind of emotional trickery.

However, with the right preparation, nobody ever has to fall victim to this cruel trick again.

Here are a few rules to follow:

  • Never pick up the phone if the caller is private or the area code is unfamiliar.
  • If you do pick up and don’t recognize the voice, hang up immediately.
  • And if you aren’t certain about the identity of the caller, ask them to answer a question only your grandchild would know. If they flunk, hang up and report the call to the police.

Meanwhile, make sure to SHARE this information to help grandparents everywhere stay safe from this mean-spirited scam.