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HELPS is a nonprofit law firm and 501(c)(3) charitable organization. We serve senior citizens and disabled persons struggling with debt.

Call HELPS now to learn how your retirement income is protected by law and how we can help.

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Need immediate help? Call 855-435-7787 to speak to a HELPS representative.

Avoiding The "Grandparent Scam"

How To Protect Yourself From Fraud

In 1955, when I was 4 years old, my parents left with me my grandparents while they took the train to Chicago for a week’s vacation. One morning at my grandparents’ house, I found a match, struck it, and held it up to a lawn swing in the back yard. Poof! The swing went up in flames. I was terrified, full of guilt as Grandma and Grandpa ran outside and watched the swing disappear in flames. But it was the reaction of my parents that I feared. Well, you know what? My grandparents never said a word to my parents, and neither did I. (Luckily, I didn’t turn out to be an arsonist!)

Now I am a grandparent many times over, and I understand how my grandparents felt towards me. Grandparents adore their grandkids. Unfortunately, there is a pernicious scam that takes advantage of this love. It is simply called the “grandparent scam.” We hear about this scam regularly at HELPS as we talk with seniors across the country. It works in various ways, but the basic principal is that a grandparent is contacted by a supposed grandchild or someone helping a grandchild who is “in trouble.” Often the supposed grandchild in jail, needing to be bailed out. Maybe they were “robbed,” or they are stranded out of state or in another country, or they are in the hospital, or there is some type of emergency and they need money – now!

The call can be quite persuasive and convincing. The scammers get information through social media about grandkids’ names, ages, birthdays, and other personal information. They have the right answers. They sound like your grandchild. Sometimes there is someone else on the call, very official sounding, claiming to be a law enforcement officer or court official. But the bottom line is always the same: they need money fast.

Seniors need to be aware of this scam. Adult children should mention this scam technique to their parents as a kind of warning. We at HELPS have seen seniors lose money ranging up to tens of thousands of dollars in variations of this scam.

HELPS Nonprofit Law Firm educates lower income seniors how to maintain their financial independence. We also want seniors to know that their retirement income is protected by federal law – it can’t be taken from them. They don’t need to go without basics to pay debt they can’t afford to pay. Federal law provides that persons represented by an attorney may no longer be contacted by a debt collector by phone or mail. HELPS represents seniors in order to stop unwanted collector contact. We never turn a qualified senior away. Learn more at or call 855 435 7787.

Learn More About Other Issues and What HELPS Can Do For You.

Peace of Mind
These HELPS clients were dealing with harassing debt collectors and anxiety over old Debt. HELPS provided a solution to their financial worries.