A scam that’s almost as old as time, but will continue to target the most vulnerable, is the Grandparent Scam. Although the scammer doesn’t always pretend to be a child or grandchild, they will often pose as a family member in trouble.
According to our Fraud Team, there has been rise in reports of scammers contacting New Hampshire residents posing as a relative. The scammer calls the victim, sounding emotional, to place the victim in an immediate state of panic. Then another person will get on the phone pretending to be law enforcement stating that the family member has been involved in a car accident involving another person.
In one instance, the injured party was a pregnant woman ad the scammer requested an additional $30,000 in order to forgive the injuries caused to the “woman” and her “baby”. Upon withdrawing the funds, the victims were instructed to meet the individual in a parking lot to hand over the cash.
If you are ever put in a situation where someone posing as an individual you know is asking for money – REMAIN CALM and ASK QUESTIONS, or HANG UP. The scammer wants to create a sense of urgency, panic, and guilt in order to scam you. It’s important to note that legitimate law enforcement officials will never demand immediate payment or ask for your personal information for the release of a relative.
As a reminder:
- When in doubt, hang up and contact the person directly.
- Do not engage with the caller.
- Do not provide money or personal information, including home address.
If you have been targeted by a grandparent scam, file it with your local police department and report it to the Office of the Attorney General at doj.nh.gov/consumer/complaints.
If you are a Merrimack customer and are concerned your personal or financial information was compromised, please call us directly at 603.225.2793.