A code word could protect you from scams The caller simply said, "Hello, grandma, how are you?" He went on to say he was in jail in a foreign country and desperately needed bail money. He wanted $2,500 and he said he was scared and needed it quickly. But he wasn't the grandson. He was a scammer, part of a worldwide crime epidemic that robs people of about $3 billion a year, according to cbsnews.com. Con artists say about one in 50 people fall for the grandparent scam when a caller says he is alone, afraid, in jail and desperate. In some scams, the caller pretends to be a family friend or family member calling about the grandchild in danger. Panic is the scammer's main asset. According to the FBI, scammers pressure people to act quickly. If people stay calm, they could easily determine that the call or email is a scam. The FBI advises people never to wire money or use a prepaid card because of a request made on the telephone or by email. If you receive such a call, always ask questions: - The grandchild's full name, including middle name. - Names of family members. - Refuse to keep the situation secret and call parents or relatives to verify. Finally, have a family code word that only a family member would know.