Protecting Yourself from the “Grandparent Scam”

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The Grandparent Scam is one of many scams targeting the elderly. A grandparent gets a call (or sometimes an email) from someone who claims to be a relative, usually a grandson or granddaughter, in distress - they lost their wallet and are stuck without identification and money in another country. The caller states it’s an emergency and asks for money to be sent immediately, wired to them through a friend’s account so that they can get home. If the money can’t be wired, they ask the grandparent to purchase $1,000 Visa gift cards to be used as a means to get back home. Oh, and don’t tell their parents because they’ll get upset. Any concerned grandparent would be alarmed and comply without hesitation. Unfortunately, from January 2020 to June 2021 the FBI Internet Complaint Center received over 650 reports of “grandparent scams” nationwide, resulting in more than $13 million in losses.

Protect yourself from this common scam by taking the following actions:

  • Before you act, confirm with a call back
    It’s easy to just act without pause when a loved one is perceived as being in trouble or in a bad situation, but a simple phone call can keep you and your finances safe. Call your grandchild to verify their situation. If you can’t reach them, consult a trusted family member.
  • Ask questions
    While on the line with the person pretending to be your grandchild, ask questions to verify their identity. Make sure these are questions only you and your grandchild are privy to, not questions that can be researched from a social media account or other internet sources. Asking questions can deter the scammer!
  • Ignore emails asking for money
    In the event the scammer contacts you via email instead, always make it a general rule NOT to respond nor send money requested via email. Send those emails directly to your SPAM folder. Do not pass go and do not give them a cent.
  • Have a trusted consultant
    It’s always best to talk to someone you trust before making any financial decisions, even if it is as simple as wiring someone money. Consult with a family member or better yet, if you’ve assigned someone as your POA, talk to them about the situation and decide on the best course of action together.
  • Stay connected with your family members
    Staying in touch with your family makes you less susceptible to scams such as this one. If you feel comfortable contacting your family members to check on them, it makes it easier to verify alarming phone calls, especially the ones that discourage you from contacting other members of your family.
  • Trust your instincts
    If something doesn’t add up about a phone call, or if you start questioning details of a money request, don’t think twice. Trust your instincts and don’t make any rash financial transactions.

Staying informed is the best way to protect yourself and your finances. Make sure you are getting up to date information on scams and frauds from trusted sources. Stay informed and read our other SmartLab blogs. You can also sign up to receive Consumer Alerts from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) website. If you have any questions with regards to your financial needs, you can always contact a helpful Logix representative.


*Logix Federal Credit Union is not affiliated with any of the external sources referenced in this article, and is a separate entity.

Please contact Logix at (800) 328-5328 or visit if you have any questions about this topic or would like to consider opening an account. 

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