"Grandparent Scam" May Have Roots in Social Media

4 years 2 months 3 weeks ago Friday, September 20 2013 Sep 20, 2013 Friday, September 20, 2013 2:00:00 PM CDT September 20, 2013 in News
By: Hailee Hopkins, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA - Older Missourians are the targets of what's being called "the grandparent scam," which a spokesman for Better Business Bureau says may be linked to information collected via social media. 

Target victims get telephone calls from an individual claiming to be a relative stuck in a foreign country who needs money to return home, according to regional director Mike Harrison.

He said the most recent case happened in August, in eastern Missouri, when a woman got a call from someone claiming to be a grandson who was in jail and needed $14,000.

Although the grandmother was skeptical, Harrison said, the caller did have certain information that made the story believable. 

"The caller knew the grandson's name, the caller new other family members' names," said Harrison. 

The Better Business Bureau believes the caller found this information online by checking social media sites like Facebook, he said. 

A home health care nurse, who works closely with aging patients, said she keeps an eye out for potential scams. 

Mary Zeilman said, "Elderly people can't hear as well, they can't see as well, so all of the fast talk on the phone, it makes it difficult to understand what's being said to them."

Scams targeting older people strike close to home, she said. "My mother had her identity stolen."

The nursing director at Zielman's company said the best way to avoid falling prey to a scammer is to verify information.

"Call the business they say they are from, not from the number they gave you, but the number out of the book. Verify that it is someone legit calling you," said Trish Rockers, of Homemaker Health Care, Inc.

Harrison said if a caller refuses to give out information like a phone number or an address, than it's probably a scam. "Never ever give out your bank account or credit card information over the phone."

Other tips about staying out of a scammer's way are available on the Better Business Bureau website. 

More News

Grid
List
VERSAILLES - Prosecutors filed charges against three employees of the Morgan County Jail on Monday, including a nurse accused of... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
FULTON - People who are preparing to travel for the holidays are automatically at risk for robberies, road issues, and... More >>
1 hour ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 7:25:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The search for Missouri's next top education official has started. The State Board of Education... More >>
2 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:13:24 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Fire and law enforcement officers from three counties received radiological training Thursday at the Moberly Fire Department. ... More >>
3 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 6:09:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Here is the latest on a threat to Moberly Area Community College's Columbia campus: 6:55 p.m. ... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 5:00:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
MOBERLY - Police are searching for a suspect in connection with the assault of two Moberly residents. Authorities said the... More >>
4 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia has new aid in fighting snowy roads this with the help of its new... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 4:04:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY – One Missouri farmer is righting his wrong following a pig waste leakage into a nearby creek. ... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:45:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Authorities are investigating a Wednesday night shooting which injured a 19-year-old Jefferson City resident, police said in... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:37:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Callaway County schools donated more than 9,200 toys to Toys for Tots Thursday. "We're excited," coordinator Melissa... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS (AP) - The Latest on the shooting of two St. Louis-area police officers saved by their bulletproof vests... More >>
5 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 3:17:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Thursday marked the five year anniversary of the Sandy Hook shooting. In 2012, Adam Lanza opened fire... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
COLUMBIA - Police now have 75 kits with the opioid overdose reversal medication naloxone, which is also known as Narcan.... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:39:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The former administrator of the Pettis County Ambulance District has admitted embezzling more than $227,000... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:15:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Democratic lawmakers are voicing their concerns after the Missouri Republican party presented a new tax plan for... More >>
6 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:12:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has appointed a former St. Louis-area Husch Blackwell lawyer to the... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:11:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Republican Gov. Eric Greitens is praising Missouri's revamped Clean Water Commission for allowing two new... More >>
7 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 2:08:00 PM CST December 14, 2017 in News
OLATHE, Kan (AP) — A third man has been convicted in the killing of a suburban Kansas City gun... More >>
12 hours ago Thursday, December 14 2017 Dec 14, 2017 Thursday, December 14, 2017 8:46:29 AM CST December 14, 2017 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 29°
9pm 30°
10pm 30°
11pm 29°
12am 28°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:20p
Thursday Night Football
10:30p
KOMU 8 News @ 10
11:05p
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld
10:00p
Seinfeld

Tonight's Schedule

6:30p
Football Night in Indianapolis
7:20p
Thursday Night Football
7:00p
iHeartRadio Jingle Ball 2017
8:30p
Whose Line Is It Anyway?
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld