LITTLE ROCK – Scammers are manipulating big-hearted Arkansans with the “favorite grandson” scam once again. This scam is particularly targeted at the elderly, which cons good people out of their money.
These criminals prey on older Arkansans by calling and impersonating a favorite grandchild or close relative. The scammers play on emotions and can be extremely convincing. They claim to be in serious trouble or injured and need money wired to them immediately, often to a location outside of the United States. Unfortunately, wire transfers are similar to cash, meaning that if the victim is tricked and does send the money, there is often no way to get the money back.
“These thieves are taking advantage of good people who love their families,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “Grandparents should know that when they receive a call from someone claiming to be a grandchild in desperate need of quick cash they should do as President Ronald Reagan suggested and that is ‘trust but verify’ and in this instance, verify with another family member before sending money.”
Attorney General Rutledge offered the following tips to avoid falling victim to the “favorite grandson” scam:
• Resist pressure to act quickly.
• Never give or wire money based on any unsolicited phone call.
• Verify your family member’s location by directly calling another family member or the grandchild.
• Do not send money to an unknown account or entity.
• Ask the caller for his or her name, and if they cannot provide it, hang up immediately.
• Have a plan in place when family members are traveling so that you can easily identify whether or not a need is genuine.
• Contact the Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 if you have been a victim of this scam.
The Attorney General’s office reports elderly Arkansans losing thousands of dollars after falling for this scam. According to the FTC over 400,000 imposter scams were reported last year. It is important to inform others and stay alert.
For more information and tips to avoid scams and other consumer-related issues, contact the Arkansas Attorney General’s office at (800) 482-8982 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.