Article | 1:51 min read

How to Prevent Grandkid and Family Scams


Imagine receiving a phone call that starts with, “Grandma, I need money for bail,” or “Grandpa, I have a medical bill to pay” and before you have time to think, they’ll convince you to send them money. Learn how to protect yourself.

Elderly woman on the phone with fraudster

Grandkid and family scams typically involve a phone call from someone pretending to be your grandchild or another family member. They might claim to be in trouble, such as needing money for bail, medical bills, or emergencies. The scammers use various techniques to make their stories convincing, including gathering personal information from social media or hacking email accounts.

How to Protect Yourself:

  1. Pause

    Take a moment to collect yourself. Avoid rushing into any decisions.
  2. Verify the Caller

    Look up your grandkids’ phone number on your own or contact another family member who can confirm the legitimacy of the call.
  3. Be Alert to Red Flags

    Recognizing the warning signs can help you identify and avoid falling victims to grandkid and family scams. Look for the following indicators.
    • Urgency and Secrecy: Scammers often emphasize the need for immediate action and request that you keep the situation confidential.
    • Inconsistencies and Emotional Manipulation: Pay attention to inconsistencies in the caller’s story or discrepancies in their personal details. Scammers may try to exploit your emotions by using emotional triggers or creating a sense of urgency.
    • Requests for Money Transfers: Scammers commonly request funds to be sent through wire transfers, prepaid cards, or unconventional payment methods that are difficult to trace.
  4. Take Preventative Measures

    • Maintain Privacy: Limit the personal information you share on social media platforms to reduce the chances of scammers gathering data for their schemes.
    • Strengthen Security: Use strong and unique passwords for your email and online accounts. Enable two-factor authentication whenever possible to add an extra layer of protection.
    • Educate Family Members: Even if you haven’t personally received one of these calls, chances are someone you know will or may have already encountered such a situation. Spread awareness among your family members, especially grandparents, about grandkid and family scams. Encourage open communication and establish a policy of verifying requests for financial assistance before taking any action.

What to Do If You Suspect a Scam:

  1. Don’t Share Personal or Financial Details

    Never disclose sensitive information, such as your Social Security number, bank account details, or credit card information, to anyone over the phone unless you are certain about their identity.
  2. Report the Scam

    If you spot a scam, report it to the Federal Trade Commission at

The information provided in these articles is intended for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as the opinion of Central Bancompany, Inc., and/or its subsidiaries and does not imply endorsement or support of any of the mentioned information, products, services, or providers. All information presented is without any representation, guaranty, or warranty regarding the accuracy, relevance, or completeness of the information.