Online Security

Grandparent Scams

The bond between a grandparent and grandchild is unique. Unfortunately, fraudsters may exploit this loving, trusting relationship to trick you and steal your money.
How Grandparent Scams Work

Out of the blue you get an email from your granddaughter who is studying abroad. She mentions the country where she’s living and says she’s in distress — her credit cards, passport and phone have all been stolen and she needs you to wire money to her international bank account right away.

Action Steps to Prevent Grandparent Scams

In the unfortunate event that you fall victim to what you believe to be a scam, responding quickly can help limit the damage. 

  1. 01

    If you provided financial account information, immediately contact your financial institutions and discuss cancelling fraudulent charges, obtaining a new credit/debit card or opening a new account.

  2. 02

    Seek help or advice from a trusted contact, such as your Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor.

  3. 03

    Contact local law enforcement to report the scam, or if you believe your grandchild may be in danger.

  4. 04

    Report the incident and file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

  5. 05

    Visit for more information and specific actions to take based on your situation.