Grandparents, Beware of Spring Break

The Green Bay Press Gazette has published an article that warns grandparents to be on the look out for scammers who want to take advantage of them while their grandkids are on spring break. The scam is carried out by someone calling and posing as a grandchild. The person then goes on to ask for cash for some kind of emergency situation. This scam has been documented in Wisconsin. Authorities say the scammers may be using social networking sites like Facebook to get details about a young person’s travel plans and the names of their relatives.

Here are some tips from the Bureau of Consumer Protection:

  • No matter how dramatic the story sounds, do not wire money. Con artists recommend these services. It’s unlikely you would get your money back.
  • Never provide your bank or credit card account numbers — regardless of the reason.
  • Resist the pressure to act immediately. Try to verify the information you’ve been given.
  • Remember that some impostors research the people they are posing as and can answer basic questions about them. Try to verify the caller’s identity by asking personal questions a stranger could not answer.
  • Do not fill in the blanks. Refrain from mentioning other family members’ names or personal information. If the caller says, “It’s your granddaughter,” respond with “Which one?” Most likely, the caller will hang up.
  • If you cannot reach a family member and still are not sure what to do, call the Bureau of Consumer Protection or your local police on the nonemergency line. They can help you sort things out.
  • If you receive repeated fraudulent calls, contact your local telephone company for assistance and file a complaint with the police immediately.