Beware of the ‘grandparent’s scam’!

From our March 2014 issue

Grammas and grampas beware!

I had a very upsetting phone call that I’d like to share. The caller was posing as one of my grandsons. Believe me, this young person on the phone had exactly the same sounding voice, the same ‘soft’ way of talking as one of my grandsons.

He claimed he had an accident – had rear-ended a car and broke his nose in the ordeal. He said he was taking his friend, Tyler, home. Coincidence was (again), my grandson does have a friend named Tyler. It gets stranger.

The lady supposedly in the other car was from Quebec, and if my ‘grandson’ could pay her damage of $2,000 she wouldn’t press charges. She needed it right away and could I help him out of this bad situation? He also had a DUI (driving under the influence). I believed this story.

Of course, this person calling as my grandson did not want to tell his mother until after this money problem was cleared up. My real grandson’s mother had just left my house after a weekend visit.

Well, he was desperate. “Oh, Gramma! Please help me out. I need money. I’m at the courthouse.”

I replied: “I don’t have that kind of money on me!”

Then, suddenly his voice changed and he said, “Oh, Gramma, you’ve got money!”

Right there I became suspicious. My grandsons don’t talk like that. The caller continued to whine saying, “Try and get the money. I need help!”

I told him that my money is all locked in and I’d phone him back on his cell phone. The caller went back to his ‘soft’ voice telling me that the cops took his cell and he would phone me back.

On hanging up my phone, I immediately phoned my grandson’s cell. It was busy. Obviously my grandson had his cell and was talking to someone. I then phoned the RCMP detachment in my grandson’s town.

No one with my grandson’s name had been in any accident, and when I phoned the town courthouse, the court clerk did some searching and once more no one by my grandson’s name was there or on the court docket.

During the phone conversation with the court clerk, my phone was beeping and displaying ‘Private Number’. I knew it was him. I waited. He tried for the third time. The pretend grandson says he got half of the money from a friend, but still needed me to give him the remaining half.

I once again asked him: “Where are you?”

He answered: “I’m at the courthouse downtown.”

I knew I had him! I then asked him, “Which grandson are you?”

Click! End of the phone conversation.

Be very aware of these ‘grandson’ phone calls. I know a lady, an extended family member, who recently forked over $2,400 to a certain bank account on the same kind of fraud.

If he sounds like one of your grandsons, do not ask, “Is that you, _____,”and you say the name of a grandkid, because then, of course they say yes and then they have you!

Gloria Fleury, Beulah, Man.