Aging in Style with Lori Williams — June 2021

I recently received a call from my step-father, who lives in Mississippi. He had received an odd call from a man claiming to be my son.

The caller had greeted him with, “Hi Grandpa, it’s Chris. I’ve been in a car accident, I’m bleeding and in jail. I need you to call my lawyer.”

My step-father was confused… the caller did sound a bit like my son, but it made no sense that he would be calling his grandpa two states away for help.

I quickly checked on my son, who was sound asleep in his bed, his car intact and parked in its’ normal spot. We immediately realized my step-father had been the target of a Grandparent Scam.

Grandparent Scams typically involve an imposter posing as a grandchild who is in trouble: they’ve been in an accident, or arrested. Once they have the grandparent concerned and ready to help, they hand the phone off to another scammer posing as a police officer or lawyer who then will make arrangements to have the grandparent wire money to them.

Thankfully, my step-father followed his instincts and did not fall victim to the scammer. This scam is on the rise, but you can protect yourself by following these 5 tips:

  • Set privacy settings on your social media accounts.
  • Ask questions that only your grandchild could answer.
  • Tell the caller you will call them back, then call your grandchild’s cell number.
  • Contact other family members to verify the story.
  • Trust your gut instinct.

Fraud targeting older people should be reported to the FTC at 877-382-4357.

Lori Williams is the owner of Lori Williams-Senior Services, LLC and the host of the podcast, Aging in Style with Lori Williams. For help with senior housing and services, contact Lori at 214-783-1222 or www.loriwilliams-seniorservices.com.

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CTG Staff
The Cross Timbers Gazette is a locally-owned and operated regional newspaper and website covering community news and people in southern Denton County, TX, including the communities of Argyle, Bartonville, Canyon Falls, Copper Canyon, Double Oak, Flower Mound, Harvest, Highland Village, Lantana and Robson Ranch.

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