SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Georgia’s attorney general is warning of a new twist on a scam targeting senior citizens.
The “grandparent scam” still starts with a phone call generally from someone impersonating a grandchild or loved one in distress, urging the grandparent to wire them money.
But according to Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr, in a new twist, the scammer promises to send someone to the grandparent’s house to pick up money.
Carr says once the victim pays the money — often to an unwitting Uber or Lyft driver — there is really no way to get it back and the scammer might even call back for more money.
“Scam artists prey on people’s emotions by trying to instill fear or create a sense of urgency in the hopes that people will act before thinking things through,” Carr said.
He encourages Georgians to talk to their older relatives about the scam so they can spot the warning signs.
Carr passed along the following advice from the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division to protect yourself from scams:
- If you receive a phone call of this nature, get off the phone and call your grandchild directly to verify his/her whereabouts. If you can’t reach your grandchild, contact the parents – even if you were asked not to do so.
- Remember that a scammer can discover many personal details about someone via social media or through identity theft, so do not trust a caller at face value, even if they provide the name or certain details about your grandchild.
- Limit what you share on social media and check your privacy settings.
- Never give your address, personal information or money to someone who calls you out of the blue.
Learn more about ongoing scams on the Georgia Department of Law’s Consumer Protection Division’s website.