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Inside the Grandparents Scam: A Con Artist Reveals All

FWN Con artistEn español | Donald and Ola Mae got scammed doing what any grandparent would do. Peter got them because he knew that love, indeed, conquers all.

The secret to Peter’s success, like that of any scammer, was to get Donald and Ola Mae to think with their hearts instead of their heads – to get them “under the ether,” as it is called.

Think with your emotions and you don’t think rationally, and that’s what turns targets into victims.

That’s why the Grandparents Scam continues strong – and why you need to watch this important public service video from AARP’s Fraud Watch Network:

Few emotions are as powerful as love. So when a phone call comes, claiming a grandchild was hurt or arrested, and your help – your money – is needed, you listen. Just ask Donald and Ola Mae … or thousands of others who continue to fall for this rampant and especially despicable ruse that’s been going strong for at least six years.

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The voice on the phone may not sound like your grandchild, but the explanation – at that moment – sounds plausible. “If they say it doesn’t sound like [the grandchild], you say, ‘In the accident I hit my nose,'” explains Peter.

You want to believe because you need to help. You love your grandkids and would do anything for them, including ignoring that voice inside your head.

The one coming from your heart always speaks louder.

Watch the video above. Learn from it. And know that it isn’t your grandchild calling in the wee hours, pleading for your money, your love, your silence. It’s a scammer pumping you with ether.

Also know this:



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For information about other scams, sign up for the Fraud Watch Network. You’ll receive free email alerts with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud, and gain access to a network of experts, law enforcement and people in your community who will keep you up to date on the latest scams in your area.

Photo: Louish Pixel/Flickr


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