Action Line: Hawaii grandparents targeted in new phone scheme

In the latest warning from the Better Business Bureau, schemers are not above using grandchildren to target grandparents.

The organization has received five reports in the past week of grandparents getting phone calls from someone claiming to be their grandchild.

“The end game is they’re looking to get you as the grandparent or the parent to believe that they’re in trouble or hurt and they want you to wire in cases, thousands, or tens of thousands of dollars to them while they’re supposedly on vacation in a foreign country or in another city,” said Gregory Dunn with Hawaii’s Better Business Bureau.

“We expect to get more (calls), because we know there are some folks that are actively perpetrating this scam in our community,” he added.

The Better Business Bureau says the scheme is popular because spring and summer are peak travel times for kids, and schemers know they have a better chance of success.

“This is the lowest of the low,” Dunn said. “You’re reaching out to someone and trying to extract money from them based on something bad happening to a member of their family. This is really terrible.”

Dunn says people in Hawaii have lost tens of thousands of dollars to this scheme.

If you receive a call from someone claiming to be your grandkid, don’t say the childs name. Instead, ask the caller “Who is this?” and follow that with a question only he or she would know the answer to. And make sure your grandchildren share their travel plans with the family.

If you believe you’ve fallen victim to the scheme, click here to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.

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