Fighting The Grandparent Scam:
Protecting Our Loved Ones From Online Fraud
What does $11,000 mean to you? For most of us, it can take months to years to save up this amount of money. Losing it to a scam would be devastating.
Statistics reveal that Americans lost over $10 billion last year to online scams and digital fraud, surpassing the occurrence of physical break-ins. And it’s seniors that lose the most money to these scams. Scammers use tactics like the “grandparent scam” to target seniors, pretending to be a family member needing financial help.
The Personal Stories of Scam Victims
Steve Savage, a retired scientist, and Ester Maestre, a former nurse, both found themselves deceived by cunning scammers, leading to significant financial losses.
Steve Savage received an email from the Geek Squad, which falsely claimed that his bank account was about to be charged $399 for another year. He dialed the customer service number provided in the email, believing he was reaching out to legitimate support from the Geek Squad. The person on the other end of the line was not a company representative but a scammer posing as one. Steve ended up losing a staggering $14,000.
Ester Maestre, on the other hand, encountered a different form of digital theft. An alarming email claiming to be from “tech support” stated that her bank account had been hacked the previous night. Seeking immediate assistance, Ester dialed the number in the email, hoping to connect with someone who could help her resolve the situation. The person who answered claimed to be a security representative from Chase Bank. Exploiting Ester’s fear and vulnerability, the imposter convinced her that her bank account was breached and instructed her to withdraw her money and deposit it into a new account for safekeeping. Trusting this false authority, Ester complied, unwittingly handing over $11,000 of her hard-earned savings. Ester has been unable to recover any of the money since she initiated the transaction herself.
In the face of an emergency, it is natural for people to try to solve the problem as soon as possible and in these cases, they were presented in the same emails that scammed Steve and Ester. Remember that anyone can fall victim to these schemes, regardless of their background or experience.
Protecting Our Loved Ones
Email security is so important for keeping ourselves safe in today’s digital world. By being a little suspicious and double-checking urgent or sensitive requests, we give ourselves and our families the power to stand strong against online scams.
You can prevent many of these online scams by educating your loved ones about the steps to secure their personal emails. One effective way to boost our email security is by keeping suspicious emails out of your inbox. And this is exactly what we do at Sangu Mail—block spam messages and malware before they sneak into our inboxes. Our next-level spam and malware protection employ advanced AI and image recognition tools to detect potential threats that might escape typical spam filters.
With Sangu Mail, you have the ability to report suspicious emails directly to your personal Concierge Security Analyst. If you come across an email that appears questionable and you’re uncertain whether it’s a scam or not, you can chat with our analyst. They will provide you with guidance and explanations, helping you understand why that specific email may be a scam or not. This service ensures that even if you’re unavailable to answer questions, you can trust that your parents or grandparents will have access to knowledgeable experts who can help them avoid falling victim to scams.
Remember, it’s not just about our own safety—it’s about looking out for our loved ones too. When we prioritize email security, we take on the responsibility of keeping those closest to us safe from the dangers that lurk online. So let’s answer this call to action and strengthen our defenses, ensuring the protection and peace of mind for our cherished family members in this increasingly interconnected world.