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Family Imposter Scams

Family Imposter scams: Know your relationships, take steps to verify

Slow down, log the contact. Make One call to a contact, Call an organization who cares

A criminal posing as a relative claims to be in trouble and funds are needed immediately.

  • Scammers spike your emotional response.
  • Claims are made that a horrible incident occurred involving a family member.
  • Contacts are asked to keep the situation private.
  • Funds are requested urgently to help resolve the emergency.
  • Common forms of payment include wire transfers, gift cards and cash.
  • Funds sent likely cannot be retrieved.

Scam Recovery

Avoiding the Family Imposter/Emergency Scam

Steps to Verify

  1. Start with the SLOW method; consult with your close contacts and reach out to an organization in your life who cares. They may spot something you don't.
  2. Keep phone numbers to your trusted family and friends in an easy to locate place.
  3. Make up a secret code to use among family members and exchange it during actual family emergencies.
  4. Never send money to parties you cannot verify.

Video Survey

CAP Connection: More about Family Emergency Scams



Imposter Scams US Loss data 2020
Family Imposter Scam data: 25,106 US reports
Family Imposter VT Loss data 2020: $88,993

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Imposter Scams Toolkit

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Recovering from this scam? Get help now.

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1-800-649-2424    |

Consumer Assistance Program | 109 State Street, Montpelier, VT 05609-1001 | 1-800-649-2424 |