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Walmart employee helps elderly couple avoid the “Grandparents Scam”


When an elderly Illinois couple entered Walmart to transfer $2,500 to a prepaid gift card, a Walmart employee was sharp enough to realize it was scam.

The Daily News Online reports that the employee recognized a phone number the elderly couple gave to verify information was the same number listed in the national database as a scamming number.

The Attica police thanked the Walmart employee for recognizing the problem before the couple lost $2,500.  The same scam happened when an elderly couple lost $4,000 a few weeks prior.

The “grandparents scam” occurs when a scammer calls pretending that a grandchild or love one is in trouble. In most cases the scammer will mention the name of someone close to you, which prompts the scam victim to take action.

The scam usually works like this – victims are asked to load money on gift cards and then provide the caller with the number on the back of the card and the card’s security number.    The scammer can then use that information to drain the money on the card.

Here are tips on avoiding this scam:

Be vigilant and verify the emergency.

Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic the story.

Verify the caller’s identity by asking questions that a stranger couldn’t possibly answer.

Check the story out with someone else in your family, circle of friends or police.

If you or a loved one ever fall victim to fraud, please report to local police. You can also file a complaint with the FTC, here.



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