Written by Market President Peter Barry

Due to concern about the rising number of elder fraud cases throughout the state, the Cooperative Credit Union Association, in conjunction with local credit unions, recently ran an awareness campaign on the radio stations, to bring attention to the scams that are being used to take advantage of elders and how to protect yourself and those you love. One of the scams they discussed during a talk show, was the so called, “Grandparents Scam” where someone calls and pretends to be a grandchild in trouble, in order to get the concerned grandparent to send them some money. 

So, I was not completely surprised when my phone rang recently and on the other end of the line I heard a young man say “Hi Grandpa, how are you?”. Now, while I do have two granddaughters, I have no grandson, but I decided to play along. “Jimmy, is that you?” I replied. “Yes, Grandpa, its me Jimmy” he responded, quickly picking up on the fictitious name I made up for my imaginary grandson. “Jimmy” then proceded to tell me that he had gone to a wedding in New Jersey and got in an accident and broke his nose and was arrested for driving while intoxicated, and wanted to know if I could help him out. 

Of course, I said would do anything he needed. At which point, he said he could only speak for a moment more, as they wanted him to get off the phone, but that his lawyer would be calling me shortly to tell me what to do. He made me promise him not to tell anyone, because he didn’t want anyone to find out, and advised me that I shouldn’t make any calls because his lawyer would be calling at any time. Wanting to see how this played out, I assured him that his secret was safe with me and that I would standby and await instructions from his lawyer and we said goodbye. 

At this point I ran and got my second Iphone and got it ready to record. Shortly thereafter the phone rang and I hit record, and what followed was just a despicable conversation that shows there is no limit to how low these people will go to rip you off. But don’t take my word for it, give it a listen for yourself, and then share this with anyone you know that might fall victim to this scam.

My thanks to the folks at the Cooperative Credit Union Association for shining a light on these scams.