(New Castle, DE 19720) The scam typically starts the same with a suspect targeting an older person who in most cases has a child or grandchild. The suspect may pose as a family member and request money for bail or medical bills due to an accident or major incident. If you get a call from someone claiming to be your grandchild or someone who is speaking on their behalf, like an attorney or doctor, and they are demanding money, slow down and don’t make a rushed decision. Scammers will often try to pressure you into making a quick payment in the form of pre-paid gift cards and wire transfers.

Victims are targeted more these days due to social media websites. Suspects can easily use social media to look up personal information to help create a believable story that includes life events, nicknames, vacation plans, and more. You can protect yourself by asking additional questions and checking with family members to confirm.

Protect yourself and your loved ones from scams targeting senior citizens

  • Let the call go to voicemail or have them call back
  • Be careful what you put online
  • Verify the story
  • Be suspicious of urgent requests
  • Be wary of late-night calls
  • Don’t be quick to act, be quick to think.
  • If they’re asking for payment with gift cards of any kind, it’s likely a scam
  • Please reach out to your family and talk to them about this scam

If you think you have been the victim of a scam or fraud, please do not be embarrassed or ashamed. These scammers can be persuasive, and you are not alone. Contact the New Castle County Police non-emergency line (302)-573-2800.