Facebook Used as Tool to Con Grandparents

no_scamOnline scammers and con men aren’t known for their tact, but a recent scam in the New York tri-state area that’s targeting grandparents is more malicious than most. Con artists are reportedly using Facebook to find out location info about both grandparents and their grandchildren, and then exploiting that information to get money out of concerned grandparents.

One popular scam, for instance, has con artists contacting grandparents and telling them that their beloved grandchildren are in some kind of trouble that, of course, requires a little money to get out of, like jail.

“I got a telephone call, and a man was on, and he said that my grandson was in jail, and that I should pay money to get him out on bail or he was going to stay there,” said Ruth Winter, a recent victim of such a scam. “And instead of thinking, my grandma emotion overcame me.”

These con men are often overseas, making it virtually impossible to track them down and prosecute them for their crimes. However, there are steps families can take to prevent such crimes from occurring. Acting director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs Eric Kanefsky advises families to agree on a secret code word for when they’re in trouble, but not to reveal it on Facebook. He also suggests that people who receive calls telling them that their family members are in trouble should ask pointed questions of the person to determine if they’re telling the truth. Of course, people of all ages should maintain a healthy skepticism of any stranger on the web making strange claims. As it becomes easier for scammers to obtain information on social media, Facebook users have to increase their online privacy knowledge to keep up.

Recommended Resources

BitDefender Safego is a Facebook application you can install that will scan your News Feed and help keep you safe from scams on Facebook.

PRIVATE WiFi® is a Personal VPN that encrypts everything you send and receive. Don’t access Facebook from a public WiFi hotspot without it.

DoNotTrackMe protects your privacy by blocking online tracking. Abine – Online Privacy Starts Here.

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