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If a family member called you and asked for your help, would you? Most of us would answer “yes” to this question. However, many people in America who have actually helped “loved ones” are being duped by imposters. Scammers have come up with some very elaborate schemes to take advantage of caring individuals looking to support their kin. Please take a few minutes to read the tips in this article so you don’t fall for family emergency scams.

What Are Family Emergency Scams?

A family emergency scam is one that involves someone pretending to be a family member in distress, an authority figure such as a lawyer or police officer, or a combination of both. 

As an example, a “family member” may call you saying that they are in urgent need of your help. In this case, help would be monetarily. They may inform you that a “lawyer” or “police officer” will contact you and you will receive a call from them immediately. 

You will be pressured to send money immediately and to keep it a secret from everyone. If you were to ask others in your family about the situation, you may find out it’s a scam

What To Do If You Receive A Family Emergency Call

  • Hang Up. This may seem heartless, but you should never send money under a time constraint while under immense pressure.
  • Call the loved one back. You may find that the actual loved one the imposters were pretending to be is perfectly fine. You may find out that they’re actually in need of your help if it wasn’t a scam. Either way, you will know for sure. 
  • Call others in your family. If you can’t reach the intended family member, call others in their close family. Hopefully, one of their family members will be able to clear up whether there is really an issue.

The moral of the story is: support your family but be smart and don’t panic. Don’t fall for family emergency scams so that you’ll have the means to help when someone actually needs it.

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