Corona Grandchild Trick – An old scam in a new form!

M.Sc. Jan Hörnemann

Corona Grandchild Trick – An old scam in a new form!

Last week there was a report in Essen about a new scam, the so-called Corona grandchild trick. An elderly gentleman was cheated out of several thousand Euros by the perpetrator faking a disease of the corona virus. How exactly this scam took place and how you can protect yourself and your family members from this attack is explained in the following blog post.

Corona grandchild trick – How the victim was deceived

Many people already know the classic grandchild trick and are well protected by the knowledge of it. An approximately 35-40 year old criminal together with an accomplice cheated an almost 90 year old pensioner from Essen out of several thousand Euros. Similar to the classic grandson trick, a caller contacted the pensioner with the statement that he was his son.

However, the Essener only had little faith in these statements and already wanted to hang up. The criminal on the other side of the line, however, managed to arouse sympathy for the pensioner by feigning a disease of the corona virus. Through this statement the criminal managed to keep the almost 90 year old on the line and to gain more and more trust.

After the criminal felt safe enough, he told the victim that he needed several thousand euros for treatment against the corona virus. In addition, the alleged son told the victim that he was not allowed to leave the hospital because of his illness and therefore sent a friend to receive the money. This is how the Corona grandson trick works and in the example mentioned here, it caused a pensioner to lose a lot of money.

An unknown person, because the victim was 35-40 years old and 1.75 – 1.80m tall, picked up the money from the pensioner as discussed. Afterwards it turned out that the alleged son was not the right son and the money accordingly got into the hands of fraudsters.

So you can protect yourself against this scam

Clarify above all older persons, because such fraud meshes are directed usually against older persons, since these have in some cases little contact to bspw. the grandchildren and can fall accordingly on the fraud purely. But not only older persons are confronted with this attack, but also the younger society.

The vector for this attack is almost always a phone call, telling the victim that he or she is talking to an alleged son, grandson, or other trusted person. Through various arguments, such as a corona disease, an emergency situation is presented, which should give reason for the victim to send money.

If you receive a call that leaves a strange impression on you for various reasons, you should end this call before the attacker manages to elicit sympathy from you. Afterwards you call the person who seemed to be the previous attacker. In this way you can quickly find out whether you have been caught by a fraud in the Corona grandson trick or whether your real son called you.

Photo of author

M.Sc. Jan Hörnemann

Hello dear reader, my name is Jan Hörnemann. I am a TeleTrust Information Security Professional (T.I.S.P.) and have been dealing with information security topics on an almost daily basis since 2016. CeHv10 was my first hands-on certification in the field. With a Master of Science degree in Internet Security, I have learned about many different aspects and try to share them in live hacking shows as well as on our blog. In addition, I am active as an information security officer and have been qualified by TÜV for this activity (ISB according to ISO 27001)