Beware the “new and improved” Grandparent scam!

 Many people now know to be careful of the telephone that’s been around since 2008. That’s the one where a grandparent gets a call from someone claiming to be a grandchild who has had an accident or gotten into some kind of trouble, and needs the grandparent to wire emergency cash.   Would-be victims have been educated to ask personal questions that only certain people could answer, such as the name of a childhood pet, their nickname, or the college they attended, to make sure the caller really is their grandchild.

Now that more grandparents are on Facebook, the scammers have started using that tool.  The Better Business Bureau in California has reported that grandmother received a call from a young woman who claimed to be her granddaughter. The woman asked several questions to confirm her identity, but since the scammer was looking at the real granddaughter’s Facebook page, she was able to answer them.  

Facebook and other social media are wonderful tools to keep families in touch with each other.  Unfortunately, the bad actors have figured out how to use them, too.  Please tell your friends and family to make sure your Facebook privacy settings are high enough, so personal information can’t be viewed by everyone, and especially by those who will abuse it.

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