Facebook info can be used by scammers
Ted Hubert
It is awful the way good programs are tainted with greed. Facebook is fantastic when used properly, however proper use is not always the case.

Con artists have entered the scene. The scheme is to surf those in Facebook for grandparents and grandchildren as key words.

Data collected is used to scam the elderly. Grandparents love their grandchildren which makes them very vulnerable and easy targets for a hit.

The Facebook grandparent scam mirrors the grandparent scams received on the telephone, e-mail, and on Craigslist.

These criminals are very clever in ways to manipulate the little data in their possession into making grandpa or grandma believe they are actually talking with their grandchild, or thinking the e-mail is valid.

Think before you act. Never send money via wire to a foreign country to save your family member from jail, or in a st ra nded sit uat ion, w it hout knowing if the grandchild is out of the country or not.

A grandmother wired $13,000 to Canada thinking it would keep her grandchild out of jail. She acted immediately without checking to see if the child was home or not.

The g ra ndchild never lef t home.

We know how creative these crooks are yet victims fall into the well spun trap with their eyes wide open.

The con artist does not steal the money. It is given to him. Where did this sorry individual get the personal data needed to make the hit?

It’s freely listed on Facebook. It’s truly amazing that this scam works.

Senior citizens get into trouble trusting too much and investigating too little. Reluctant to ask questions that may be embarrassing to others, is an attitude to change.

Bold and brass behavior will protect you from possible harm. Sad to say, but true.

Grandparents know their grandchildren well and family facts unknown to the con artist can quickly reveal if the caller is family or not.

When the caller says “ this is your favorite grandson and I need help,” don’t offer a name to them.

The caller will, usually, hang up the telephone if you ask for a middle name.

You may ask for a pet’s name or the city where his mother was born.

Use your wit. If you do not recognize the voice, say nothing and hang-up.

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2010-09-30 digital edition

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