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Cyber-Savvy Tips from Schwab

Protect yourself from the Person in Need Scam

A young woman in a green skirt and yellow top is standing near an older woman in a blue skirt and green top, who’s sitting.

Young woman: There’s this really awful scam going around where someone calls up an older person...

Older woman: ...and pretends they’re a grandkid and they’re in trouble.

An image of a smartphone pops into view. The two women look at it and listen, each with a skeptical look on her face.

Voice of young man [off-screen] on the phone: Grandma, I’m in trouble, and I need money. But don’t tell my mom. She’ll be so mad at me.

The older woman is now holding the smartphone.

Older woman: Any grandparent would want to help out immediately.

The view shifts to the young woman and then expands to show both women.

Young woman: But before your older loved one sends money, they should call the kid’s parents to check on the story. So Mom, you’d call me first.

The older woman speaks into the phone.

Older woman: Sorry, I’ve got to let your mom know first.

Voice of young man [off-screen] on the phone: Hmmm, never mind.

The older woman holds the phone away from her and looks disappointed. “Call ended” flashes on the smartphone screen. The young woman then leans toward the older woman and puts her arm around her supportively.

Young woman: Everyone wants to help their family.

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Older woman: But you don’t want to help a scammer to your bank account.

Voice over: Learn more at schwab.com/schwabsafe.

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©2021 Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Member SIPC.

Elderly people are common targets for cybercriminals. One popular tactic is the “Person in Need Scam.” Watch to learn more about this—and how to protect yourself and your loved ones.

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