Grandchild Trick: how it works and how you can protect yourself from it preventively. The Grandchild Trick is a cunning scam used to defraud elderly and helpless people of their assets.

Tricksters try to build up trust with their victims on the phone. The aim is to obtain their cash or assets. The origins of the Grandchild Trick lie in Germany. Arkadiusz “Hoss” Lakatosz is considered the inventor of the grandchild trick.

He probably established the grandchild trick at the end of the 1990s and set up logistical structures. In the following article we answer the questions:

  • What is the grandchild trick?
  • How does the grandchild trick work?
  • Grandchild Trick – what to do?

We also go into the different variants of the Grandchild Trick.

What is meant by the Grandchild Trick?

For a better understanding, we will explain the 6 most important phases. After that, you will have a better overview and know exactly how it works.

  1. Fraudsters often pretend to be close relatives, such as grandchildren or nephews, of elderly people.
  2. They then tell them that they have got into financial difficulties. The reasons they give are strokes of fate such as car accidents, a job loss or a serious illness.
  3. As a rule, they call more often and explicitly point out their distress. This makes their victims feel under pressure. In addition, the victims are urged to handle the request discreetly.
  4. As soon as the victims of the Grandchild scam agree to hand over money, an appointment is arranged.
  5. The victims then withdraw large sums of money from their accounts.
  6. The perpetrators then inform their victims that it is not them but an acquaintance who will collect the money or jewellery. In this context, they agree on a password that the assigned messenger will give for security.

If you have become a victim of a Grandchild Trick, you should file a complaint with the police. The more information they have, the better they can make connections and convict the perpetrators.

What should you do if you receive a call?

What to do against tricksters: Follow the tips below to avoid falling into theGrandchild Trick trap.

  • Questions about your financial situation or your family circumstances indicate that you are probably being called by a fraudster.
  • Be suspicious and don’t give in prematurely to demands.
  • Ask the person you are talking to on the phone to mention his or her name.
  • As a matter of principle, you should refrain from handing over money or assets to unknown persons.
  • If an offender pretends to be a grandchild or nephew, call him. For this purpose, use the numbers known to them.
  • If you recognise indications of fraud, call the police immediately. The police can then take action to track down grandchild scammers.
  • Keep in mind that neither the public prosecutor’s office nor the public order office will ask you to pay fines in telephone calls.
  • As a general rule, you should refrain from disclosing sensitive data such as passwords or PINs to third parties during a telephone call. The authorities and banks would never ask you to do so.

Grandchild Trick: the number of cases is increasing

Grandchild trickery is not listed as a separate crime group in federal crime statistics. Nevertheless, it can be assumed that the number of cases is steadily increasing. According to the LKA Schleswig-Holstein, grandchild tricksters caused damage of 407,000 euros in 2016. In 2020, the damage already amounted to about 944,000 euros.

Known grandchild trick fraud cases

In June 2021, grandchild trick scammers called 10 elderly people. On the phone, they asked them to pay money of about €30,000. The reason they gave was that a family member was suffering from Corona and would need an expensive medication.

However, the majority of those called were not fooled. In this context, an attentive bank employee prevented an account withdrawal. In North Rhine-Westphalia, an 82-year-old woman fell victim to a grandchild scam. The perpetrators swindled about 15,000 €.

The victim assumed that her granddaughter would need the money to buy a property. Have you been a victim of a Grandchild scam and would like to file a complaint with the police? Or you are concerned and would like to know how you can best protect yourself from this scam?

The lawyers of the Herfurtner law firm are at your side and will inform you how to take action against the fraudsters.