Beware: Gift Card ‘Grandparent Scam’ Happening Again in Time for the Holidays
This scam would seem silly, but it's happening right now. Crooks are taking advantage of our older folks by getting them to purchase gift cards from stores like Target!
Here's how the scam works...
A grandparent gets a call about one of their grandchildren being in jail, and if they want them to get out of jail they need to post bail in the form of 2 gift cards in the sum of $2000 each.
I'm sure there are variations of this scam that are going around. With all the chain stores in St. Cloud, it's likely to be happening right around here.
It's a fact that most grandparents are overly gracious with helping their grandchildren who need it. Some grandparents more than others, and they may not think to take the time to verify a grandchild is in fact "in jail".
The scam is called the "grandparent scam" and with the holidays and the season of giving, grandparents are falling victim to this more and more.
How to keep this from happening...
It's very easy to thwart this from happening to your grandparents. Simply tell them about the scam and make sure they know not to fall for it. If you work at a retail store that sells gift cards, make sure there's a policy in place for how to question somebody you feel may be getting scammed into buying high-dollar gift cards.
We hate to see people taking advantage of anybody, especially the elderly, but it happens. These scams, no matter what the currency (cash, Western Union, gift cards), go after the hearts of these grandparents who have a deep love for their family.
AARP has a great article on this subject that shows some of the different ways this "grandparent scam" has been used, and well worth the reading!