Forget about social security uncertainties, that weird mole on the top of grandma’s left ear, or whatever Fox News wants to convince us is destroying the fabric of America. There is a greater danger threatening the livelihoods of our grandparents: phone scammers.
It’s a new twist on an old scam, and it’s hitting the metro.
You may have heard of the “Grandparent scam”, but now scammers are apparently using social media to improve their con.
Like most grandparents, Jean Beeby was happy to hear from whom she thought was her grandson Monday.
“I said well how are you. He said not so good right now.”
The person on the phone claimed to be her grandson, used his name and sounded like him. He told Beeby he had been in a car accident, that he had hit a pregnant woman and was being charged with DUI. Finally, he said he needed bail money.
I am going to assume Jean’s grandson is a crappy person for two reasons.
- She thought a complete stranger’s voice was her grandson. How rare do you call your grandma that she doesn’t even know you when you speak? As long as you reserve at least Christmas and Easter for calling grandma and going to church, God won’t send you to hell. Fact.
- The scammer claiming to be her grandson stated he had been charged with a DUI after hitting a pregnant woman and JEAN DID NOT QUESTION IT. What kind of lifestyle do you lead that your grandma didn’t find it out of the ordinary for you to call her for DUI bail money?
“So, what are you supposed to do in that case? And so, I said ‘OK I’ll help you,’” Beeby said.
Then another guy called, claiming to be a lawyer and wanting her to send cash to post the bail.
“The original bond had been set at $20,000 and I said, ‘You got to be kidding me,’ and he said, ‘No.’ But since he’s a first offender I got it down to $9,000.”
Beeby said she couldn’t afford that, so the guy posing as a lawyer said he could get her grandson out of jail for 6,500 dollars. She was to FedEx the money in two envelopes.
Jesus, $6,500? When I was a teenager I asked to borrow a couple of bucks from my Grandma Bea to buy a Dr. Pepper from Dollar General and she told me I was only worth $1. So the good news is that if scammers called my grandma, she would be too cheap to send them money. The bad news is if I ever really go to jail, I’m staying there.
Beeby said she was about to send it when a friend told her to call her grandson.
As you probably guessed, he wasn’t in jail.
State Attorney General Mike Hunter said this scam has been used for years because it works it plays on the emotions of concerned grandparents.
“An individual will call a grandparent and they’ll be in a whole lot of trouble and they will in an excited hysterical way ask for help from grandma or grandpa. And the training that apparently these people are provided with is pretty Diabolical,” said Hunter.
I am still finding it weird that Jean didn’t question this whole situation in the first place. Still, grandparent scamming is a shady business that causes a lot of confusion and heartache for elderly victims. Unless you’re my grandma. Then the thought of one kid in jail is one less grandkid to have to mail a $4 birthday card to every year.
Hayley is worth $1. Follow her on twitter @squirrellygeek