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COVID Grandparent Scam


Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, scam attempts have skyrocketed across the country. While the volume has increased, the types of crimes have largely remained the same, albeit with a COVID-19 twist. One of the most prevalent scams right now is the “grandparent scam” where an impostor claims to be a grandchild in urgent need of financial help because they are sick with the coronavirus.

According to the FBI, victims in New Jersey and New York alone have lost $1 million to the grandparent scam in recent months.  If you get a call from a grandchild or someone claiming to be with your grandchild in urgent need, hang up and call your grandchild on a known number, or another relative who would know their whereabouts. Then report the scam to authorities at ftc.gov/complaint.



Did you know that someone’s identity gets stolen every two seconds?  The AARP Fraud Watch Network provides you with tips and resources to help you spot and avoid identity theft and fraud so you can protect yourself and your family.  Our watchdog alerts will keep you up to date on con artists’ latest tricks.  It’s free of charge for everyone:  AARP members, non-members, and people of all ages.  Be a fraud fighter!  If you can spot a scam, you can stop a scam. Report scams to local law enforcement. Contact the AARP Fraud Watch Network at www.aarp.org/fraudwatchnetwork for more information on fraud prevention.

The AARP Fraud Watch Network is:

  • An Educator: Get real-time alerts about the latest scams, tips on how to spot them, and the inside scoop on how con artists think so you can outsmart them before they strike.
  • A Watchdog:  Our nationwide scam tracking map gives you access to a network of people who’ve spotted scams and the opportunity to pass along your own experiences, so together we can beat con artists at their own game.
  • A Resource:  Get connected to a real live person trained in how to avoid fraud and advise you if you or a loved one has been scammed by calling our fraud hotline or attending a forum in your community.
  • Free for Everyone:  Anyone, of any age, can access our resources at no cost.