Valley seniors targeted in 'Grandparent Scam'

Posted at 5:36 PM, Mar 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-04 21:17:03-05

The Grandparent Scam is back with a vengeance.

It's the one where a fake grandchild calls, saying they have been arrested or in a car accident and need you to wire them money for bail and/or an attorney.

The grandma or grandpa are scared to death, so they run to the nearest wire service and send money (usually thousands of dollars) to help their baby.

These schemes work because they are scary and convincing--and the fake grandkids ask that the grandparent not tell the rest of the family for fear of embarrassment. Don't fall for it.

So when you get the call:

Ask for names!
What is your grandchild's name? What's their mom or dads middle name? Ask something that only your grandchild would know.

Call you relatives immediately!
Tell them what's going on. Even if your fake grandchild begs you not to.  It's not your job to keep their secrets. It's your job to protect them, and yourself.

Do not wire any money ever!  
Not ever. If anybody calls asking you to do that. It is a scam.

For those of us with older parents and grandparents--check up on them regularly.

Make a code word that only the family uses.  Have a plan to prevent this stuff. Because our families are under attack--and they're losing.

Need my help? Call the Assistance League of Phoenix volunteers at 1-855-323-1515. You can also send me an email, or a video email where you attach a video explaining the problem.

You can reach me on Twitter or "like" the Let Joe Know Facebook page and tell me about it there.

AND WE NEED YOUR HELP!  If you want to be a volunteer and help other consumers, let me know.