"Grandparent Scam" May Have Roots in Social Media

6 years 10 months 1 week 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
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools Board of Education is considering the possibility of moving the start of school to after... More >>
2 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 10:46:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — From masks to hand sanitizer stations to new poll workers, the primary election Tuesday will look different... More >>
4 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 8:12:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA —Excellence, loyalty and perseverance are the principles Dr. Gus T. Ridgel lived by, according to his daughter Betty Bolden.... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 5:52:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. ... More >>
7 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
FAYETTE – Central Methodist University will reopen for the fall semester — with a long list of safety protocols. ... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 4:54:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Central Pantry, which serves Boone County residents, is reducing its hours in order to continue serving people in... More >>
8 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 4:54:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
NEW YORK (AP) — Seven St. Louis Cardinals players and six staff members have tested positive for COVID-19, causing Major... More >>
9 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 3:58:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The Columbia Parks and Recreation department has canceled the Heritage Festival and Craft Show, according to a news... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:29:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You can... More >>
10 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:06:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Beef prices are slowly recovering after a dip from when beef processing plants were closed due to COVD-19,... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - City Manager John Glascock finalized an authorization of an ordinance to bring almost $1.8 million dollars to Boone... More >>
11 hours ago Monday, August 03 2020 Aug 3, 2020 Monday, August 03, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT August 03, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As summer school ends in the capital city, United Way of Central Missouri starts its Food 4... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 5:24:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A baby elephant died several weeks after it was born at the St. Louis Zoo. ... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 3:37:55 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - On Sunday, Battle High School students finally got to walk across the stage. The graduations were... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:54:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Missourians will vote on August 4 on whether or not to pass Amendment 2. If passed, the amendment... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:50:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in Target 8
COLUMBIA - Primary election day is this Tuesday, August 4, and Boone County Government will be open for business as... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 2:32:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A trial is set to start for a man charged in the 2017 killing of a transgender... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 12:03:00 PM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
CNN -- Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday that Pr esident Donald Trump "will take action in the coming... More >>
1 day ago Sunday, August 02 2020 Aug 2, 2020 Sunday, August 02, 2020 11:46:13 AM CDT August 02, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 62°
1am 62°
2am 61°
3am 60°
4am 59°