Friday, July 10, 2015


The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has issued a warning about scammers calling you claiming that your grandchild owes money and you need to pay it now.

This is a morphing of a scam that I have reported in the past where scammers call you to tell you that you grandchild or niece/nephew is having an emergency in a foreign country and needs money right away for medical expenses or to bail out of jail, etc.

In this scam, the supposed debt collector calls to tell you that they are trying to collect on a debt that your grandchild owes. They want you to wire them money, send a prepaid card or give your credit card number immediately. If you do not, then they will start making threats:

  • “Your grandchild will be arrested.”
  • “He’ll lose his job.”
  • “We’ll suspend her driver’s license.”
The FTC advises that if you receive a call like this, hang up. Do not be stampeded into sending money. Do not verify any personal or financial information. The FTC also points out that unless you co-signed a loan, you are not responsible for someone else’s debt, even if it is a relative. It is illegal for a debt collector to tell you that someone else, even a relative, has a debt.

The FTC also urges that you report these calls to its complaint assistant web page:

This type of scam tries to scare you into taking action. Scammers call this putting the victim under the “ether.” Get the victim to act emotionally, not logically. After all, you don’t want your grandchild in trouble, do you? The best action to take if someone calls you about a grandchild’s supposed debt is to hang up and contact the FTC.

Federal Trade Commission:


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