“Guess who this is!” – how to recognize the grandchild scam

1. February 2020 Published by Raphael Doerr

Criminals get away with €28,000 in Simmershausen with the grandchild scam”; “Regensburg: Pensioner defrauded with the grandchild scam” or “The police asks for information: 84-year-old from Wesel victim of grandchild scam.” Con artists often pretend to be relatives of elderly or helpless persons in an attempt to get their hands on valuables and above all money. Fraudsters using the grandchild scam or posing as police officers stole more than €14 million in North Rhine-Westphalia in 2018. So extreme caution must be shown.

The Smart Call Block service from Gigaset protects against unwanted calls. The CL690A SCB is the world’s first landline phone offering cloud-based call protection. Moving ahead, Gigaset will also make the service available as an option to all Gigaset GO users and so ensure greater security in many households.

People with first names that sound “old-fashioned” tend to be chosen from the telephone directory and contacted. The perpetrators first play a sort of guessing game to learn the name of a relative or friend. Once a name is revealed, they confirm it. The criminals then claim they are in distress or trouble and press the person they’re calling to hand over money, sometimes large amounts. The police have several tips to help avoid that happening.

“Guess who this is!” – “Is that you, Albert?”


Self-protection: Tips from the police

If you’re asked for money over the phone, the police advise you to end the call and make sure the caller really is a relative – for example, by calling the alleged person back. Money should also never be handed over to people you don’t know. If the call seems suspicious, it’s worthwhile notifying the police by calling the emergency number (110 in Germany). If you’ve fallen victim to the grandchild scam, it’s important to file a complaint. The police can help if you have any questions: Officers from the local force have been given special training in how to protect victims.

Identifying con artists

These five simple questions help you identify fraudsters:

  1. Didn’t the caller know your name to start with?
  2. Were you asked about a large amount of money during the call?
  3. Did the caller mention that they had financial troubles?
  4. Is the caller going to send a courier and is unfortunately unable to visit you in person?
  5. Does the caller need almost all your available cash reserves right away?


Cloud-based call protection with Smart Call Block

Do you want to repel unwanted calls before you answer them? The new Gigaset CL690A SCB comes with the Smart Call Block service. The phone accesses the knowledge amassed in the tellows database over the Internet. Every day the more than seven million members of this online community classify unknown phone numbers by specific criteria – for example, whether the call is from a call center, an opinion research institute or an instance of aggressive advertising. They classify the call as trustworthy, neutral, unwanted or dangerous and can specify additional information on the caller. All that information is shown on the display of the CL690A SCB when a call from an unknown number is received. That means the call recipient knows what to expect before picking up the phone – but it’s still up to you to protect yourself against malicious fraudsters …

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