The Grandparent Scam Is Targeting The Elderly - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The Grandparent Scam Is Targeting The Elderly

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YAKIMA, Wa.- Scams are popping up everywhere now a days. These con artists can get to you through the mail, email, telephone, and even social media sites.

 The "Grandparent Scam" has been around for years. The scam targets the elderly, but many are still falling victim to this con today.

Here is how it works, a call, usually from a long distance number overseas, targets a caller pretending to be an attorney or someone looking out for their best interest. They then ask for money claiming to be helping one of your friends or relatives that are in trouble. The scam artist may even know personal details about you like your address, your kids names, or even bank account information.

You might wonder how scammers can find all this information, well it's becoming easier and easier for them to find virtually any information they want on you.

Mike Russell, of the Yakima County Sheriffs Office says you'd be surprised how easy it is for people to find out information on you from the internet, so nine times out of ten if you're scammed it's because they found your information online.

They're finding this information off sites like Twitter, Facebook, even your personal email account. Scammers watch these sites searching for easy targets to prey on.
Mike Russell said, "They're looking for vulnerable people, vulnerable adults, people who might just be more induced into believing it's true."

Local resident, Teresa Carpenter said she's had multiple friends fall victim to this cruel scam. She says it's unfair that these hackers take advantage of the elderly, many of which don't catch on to the latest technology scams till it's too late.

Yakima Sheriffs Office officials say that while this scam has been around for years they want to increase awareness so people know the dangers and can watch for the signs. 

It can be hard to know for certain when you are being targeted by con artists, but officials say keeping an eye out for long distance numbers and keeping personal information off of social media sites is the first step to protecting yourself.