Jason S. Miyares
Attorney General of Virginia

Grandparent/Relative Scams

In a typical Grandparent Scam, the con artist calls or emails the victim posing as a relative in some sort of distress or as someone calling on behalf of the relative such as a law enforcement agent, lawyer, or other official. The "relative" of the grandparent or the person supposedly calling on behalf of the relative explains that the person is in trouble and needs the grandparent to wire them funds that will be used for bail money, lawyer’s fees, hospital bills, or another fictitious expense.

Remember these tips to avoid becoming a victim:

  • Beware of any urgent request for funds, especially if it is needed to pay for unexpected bills, such as bail money, lawyer’s fees, or doctor bills.

  • Before sending funds, independently contact the relative (or parent of the relative) the scam artist is claiming to be (or represent) at a known phone number to verify the details of the story.

  • This scam usually includes a request that the money be sent by wire transfer. Any urgent request to wire money should be treated suspiciously. Never wire money to someone you don’t know.

  • Watch out for late night calls made a time when they hope to confuse potential elderly victims.