Bank Forward Blog

Thursday March 30 2017

Protect you and your loved ones from "The Grandparent Scam"

These scammers are sophisticated, using what matters most to get to you: your loved ones.

Recently, several elderly North Dakotans have fallen victim to the “grandparent” scam, each losing thousands of dollars to scam artists pretending to be a grandchild in a dire situation and in desperate need of money.

Unfortunately, this scam is nothing new. The grandparent scam is a common “imposter” scam that has been circulating in the state for several years. The North Dakota Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division receives reports of new victims every week.

So please, talk to elderly parents and relatives about these scams.

Don’t assume they will recognize a scam call on their own, or know what to do if they receive one. It’s up to you to get the conversation started.

The only way to beat the scammers is to make sure our elderly relatives know what to do before they get a call. Start with the following:

  • If the caller asks them not to tell mom or dad (or anyone), it is a giveaway that the call is a scam.
  • Immediately, confirm the whereabouts of your grandchild with another family member, before sending any money.
  • Scam artists like to have victims use alternative forms of payment, such as gift cards, iTunes cards, Walmart-to-Walmart transactions or wire transfers, because they can access the funds instantly and they cannot be tracked.

For more information on how to talk to elderly parents and relatives about scams, contact the Consumer Protection division at (701) 328-3404, toll-free (800) 472-2600, or online at

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