Grandparents, and the people who love grandparents, hear this! Here are the latest scams con-artists are trying to pull on you, according to the Wall Street Journal.

  • One of the biggest new scams involves life insurance policies. A lot of older folks are really hurting financially – so if they’re approached to sell their life insurance for a lump sum, they may say “okay!” However, selling a policy will subject them to high fees and they’ll only receive a fraction of what the life insurance policy is worth. A better idea is to borrow against it, rather than dissolve it altogether – as long as you can pay back the loan you take out. Basically, you’re borrowing money from yourself and paying yourself back.
  • Another senior scam? Companies offering to buy gold for you — and to sell the gold when it increases in value. Sounds good right? The price of gold is skyrocketing. Unfortunately, these scam artists aren’t buying gold with your money, they’re pocketing it and you’ll never see a dime. If you really want to invest in gold – and that is a good idea - go through a reputable, local gold dealer. Call your state securities office to find one. You can also check out the U.S. Mint list of authorized dealers at USMint.gov.
  • The third scam facing grandparents is the fake grandkid call. Here’s how it works: You receive a phone call from someone pretending to be your grandkid. Often, the fake grandkid sounds frantic and says they’ve just been in a car accident; he’s far away from home. He claims his credit card doesn’t work and he needs you to wire him money immediately! Before you know it, your emotions have gotten the best of you and you find yourself wiring the money to scam artist! To protect yourself, if someone claiming to be your grandkid calls you, ask a few questions that only someone in your family would know. Even something as simple as the dog’s name. That way, you’ll know whether or not to hang up.