The Berkshire Bank Warns Older Americans about Grandparent Scam
In recognition of May as Older Americans Month
New York, NY – The next time you receive a frantic call from someone saying they are your grandchild and asking for money, make sure it’s actually your grandchild who’s calling. According to the Federal Trade Commission, in 2016, impersonation scams ranked second as the most common consumer complaint, with more than 400,000 reported. The “grandparent scam,” is a form of financial abuse that deliberately targets older Americans using impersonation tactics.
To commit this crime, fraudsters call claiming to be a family member in serious trouble and in need of money immediately. The scammer might say he’s stranded or has been mugged, and call in the middle of the night to add to the urgency and confusion. Once the money is wired, the victim later finds out that it wasn’t their grandchild they were helping, it was a criminal.
Before you act on any request it’s very important that you verify who you are speaking with by asking questions, calling them back on a known number or consulting with a trusted family member or friend before you fulfill any request.
The Berkshire Bank offers older Americans these tips to help them prevent impersonation fraud:
• Confirm the caller.
• Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
• Never give personal information to anyone over the phone unless you initiated the call and the other party is trusted.
• Never rush into a financial decision and trust your instincts.
For further questions, concerns, or more resources about protecting your banking information, please contact your local branch.