Elderly Arkansans are often a target of con artists, and one of the most convincing ones is called the favorite grandchild scam. This scam involves a scammer calling an elderly individual, saying they are his/her favorite grandchild and are in trouble and need money wired immediately. Grandparents are often willing to do whatever it takes to help their grandchild, and so they more commonly fall for the scam.
“Under no circumstances should you wire money or give a credit/debit card number to a caller claiming to be a grandchild in jail unless you have verified that information with another close family member,” said Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge. “The caller tricks Arkansans into saying the names of family and then pretends to be that family member in dire need of money.”
Attorney General Rutledge recommends the following strategies to avoid falling victim to the “favorite grandchild” scheme:
- Resist pressure to act quickly.
- Never give or wire money based on any unsolicited phone call.
- Verify the 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 to easily identify whether or not a need is genuine.
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 [email protected] or visit ArkansasAG.gov or facebook.com/AGLeslieRutledge.