Skip to main content
Community Foundation of Northern Nevada Logo

Grandparent Scams

Below are helpful tips to avoid falling victim to “Grandparent Scams.” 
This information is provided by the Community Foundation’s Preventing Financial Scams Initiative.

Red Flags

  • You get a call from someone who claims to be your grandchild, perhaps your favorite grandchild, but they do not share their name.
  • The caller asks for secrecy: “Don’t tell Mom and Dad. Let’s keep this a secret.”
  • The caller might cry to hide their voice. They plea that they need help right away – they might be in jail or got in a car accident or ran into trouble on a trip.
  • The caller asks you to wire money, send a gift card, or a pre-paid reloadable card.

What to Do

  • Call your grandchild at a phone number you already have or contact them through
  • email or social media.
  • Verify with your grandchild if they actually called you.
  • Ask family members if they have heard from your grandchild. Get a second opinion on the situation.


  • If you have sent money, contact your financial institution immediately.
  • If you suspect fraud, file a complaint with the Nevada Attorney General at or by calling 1-888-434-9989.
  • You can also file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission by calling the FTC's Consumer Response Center at (1-877-382-4357) or visit

The Community Foundation of Northern Nevada, a 501 (c) 3 organization, is established to strengthen communities in our region through leadership and philanthropy. The information provided on this page does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this page are for general informational purposes only.

Rev. November 2021

Print or Download