Family emergency scam calls - how do they work?

Let your imagination flow.
Your grandma receives a phone call for an unknown number, during which you sheepishly ask her to borrow you quite a lot of money, explaining that you are in a bit of a harmless trouble and you're calling from friend's.
Deep in your gut, you just know she would give you every amount you'd ask, don't you?
Well, the point is, while this call might be real and you really needed the cash pretty badly - it can also be a scam.

Scammers work on human emotions

Unfortunately, the technology development gave the scammers quite a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to exploiting human's emotions of those, who are highly exposed to fraud, i.e. elderly people who are not able to verify certain issues on their own. The tactics of frauds is pretty simple.
They ask for a certain amount of money, making it clear, that there is quite a problem and they can't solve it without the extra cash from granny.
The whole idea is to make the older person believe their grandchild is in a rush and there is no time for second thoughts.
Unfortunately, many payments for fake grandchildren has been made lately and money's been lost.

How to avoid the scam?

First of all, talk with your grandparents, parents, aunts and any other people you think might become a target of the scammers.
Tell them that no matter how desperate you sound, they should always check back with you before sending any money.
You can also set any sort of secret word, sort of password you will use in order to let the family member know that it's actually you who's calling.
Of course, it's not the perfect protection, but still better than nothing.
Also make sure they know they shouldn't send you any cash, gift cards, cryptocurrencies or literally anything else. Once it's transferred - there is no way of getting it back.
If your beloved one has a smartphone, also make sure to download an app, which will help them determine, whether they should answer the call. There are many popular applications, which block incoming calls from suspicious numbers or just show an information on the screen about potential scam.