Re: “‘Grandparents scam’ strikes in Gig Harbor” (TNT, 8-11).
Twice in the past two months I have received calls from young women claiming to be my oldest granddaughter. The scam was basically the same in both cases: She’d been in a minor auto accident, had been drinking, was being held on DUI and needed bail. One call came from Las Vegas, the other from Niagara Falls, Ontario. (That girl gets around!)
Both were spurious, of course. Fortunately I recognized the scam and had test questions for them. The first girl couldn’t remember what her sister was majoring in in college, and the second one couldn’t remember her maiden name.
These were easy ones; some scammers have a lot more information. The key is to ask questions that the grandchild would know immediately, but would not show up in a normal social media search.
Examples: “What was the name of the dog you had when you were in high school?” “What color was the house I lived in in Kent?” “Where did Uncle Fred lose his leg?” “What kind of car does your mother drive?” This works even better if she never had a dog, you never lived in Kent, Uncle Fred still has both legs and her mother doesn’t drive.
Always be suspicious and check stuff out. Get a call-back number and verify with family that Susie is/is not in Las Vegas, Canada or wherever.