Iowa AG Issues Warning About Increasing Prevalence Of “Grandparent Scams”

Des Moines, Iowa — Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird is warning residents about the increasing threat of grandparent scams.

According to a news release, the warning follows a recent rise in reported fraud attempts. Seniors are the targets of grandparent scams, and the scam attempts to trick them into believing their loved ones are in jail or in another form of distress.

Scammers often impersonate grandchildren and claim to be in urgent need due to an arrest, accident, or financial crisis. The scammer attempts to pressure grandparents to send money immediately via methods that are untraceable including prepaid debit cards, gift cards, and money orders. Scammers often impersonate law enforcement or government officials to try and gain compliance.

AG Bird urges Iowans to be cautious of unknown calls, double-check the legitimacy of stories, never send money or personal information over the phone, and avoid lying at the scammer’s direction.

Individuals can report suspected grandparent scams to the Iowa Attorney General’s office or to local authorities.

The Federal Trade Commission reports that in 2022, older Americans lost 1.6 billion dollars due to fraud.

(Courtesy Community First Broadcasting station KAYL in Storm Lake)

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