ROCK ISLAND, Ill. – State Rep. Mike Halpin, D-Rock Island, is cautioning seniors about a telephone scam targeting Quad-Cities residents over the age of 65.

“Elderly people tend to be more accessible and trusting, making them more likely targets of financial scams,” said Halpin. “Those who don’t know what to watch out for or how to protect themselves could potentially lose thousands of dollars.”

In a grandparent scam, a caller claiming to be the target’s grandchild says they are in trouble or physical danger, and asks the target to wire money immediately. To help detect and avoid the scam, Halpin recommends the following tips:

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.
  • Verify the person’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.
  • Call the family member at a phone number that you know to be genuine.
  • Check the story out with someone else in your family or circle of friends, even if you’ve been told to keep it a secret.
  • Don’t wire money or send a check or money order by overnight delivery or courier.

“The grandparent scam plays on the victim’s personal emotions and concern for their grandchild to trick them into wiring money to a criminal,” said Halpin. “Because they make their stories very convincing and urgent, it’s all the more important that residents know how to avoid falling victim to this scam.”

Residents who receive any unsolicited call asking them to send or wire money should report the call to the Attorney General’s Senior Citizen Consumer Fraud Hotline at 1-800-243-5377.

Rep Mike HalpinRep Mike Halpin

(D-Rock Island)
72nd District

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