Grandparents are targeted because they’re protective and want to help those they love, when they are in a crisis. A grandparent scam could look like this:
A con artist emails you, posing as distressed relative in distress
They tell a variation of a “Grandma, it’s me” story
They describe their dire problem (car crash, arrest, need a lawyer, etc.)
The senior is asked to send money for expenses to get out of trouble
The con artist then says "don't tell anyone!"
What to watch for: Never pay anything in this situation. A strong sign of fraud is being asked to pay with a card such as an iTunes or MoneyPak card, which don’t offer the protection of a credit card.
What to do: Don’t respond to the email. Delete it. Call your family and check that they’re ok. Report it to the proper governmental authorities including the Internet Crime Complaint Center (www.ic3.gov) or the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov).