Troubleshooter: Grandparents' Scam

June 15, 2011 1:46:10 PM PDT
Triangle grandparents are warning others about a scam that lost them nearly $4,000.

The scam is known as the Grandparent's Scam because the scammers know grandparents will help their grandchildren when they think they're in trouble.

Jeanie Lincoln's ordeal started when she got a call for help from someone who said he was her grandson.

"He said he was in jail, and he had been in a serious accident," Lincoln said. "No one was hurt but he needed $1850 wired to an individual just to cover the expenses to get the vehicle repairs."

She followed the instructions and went to the closest Western Union and wired the money.

"He was real cautious to tell me don't say who it's for, just say it's for a family member who needed money," Lincoln added.

Once she wired the money, she received another call.

"He said, 'Grandma that wasn't enough. I need more,'" Lincoln explained. "I told him you're strapping me, you're literally strapping me."

Lincoln didn't have the cash readily available so she says the caller suggested another option.

"He asked if I had a credit card, I said, 'Yes,' and he mentioned getting a cash advance," she said. "Again he sounded like my grandson, and I wanted to take care of my grand children, and so I went and got a cash advance for another two grand."

Now, Lincoln had wired close to $4,000 to help who she thought was her grandson. Then she got a third call asking for more money.

"I said, 'You can't do it. You've already taken everything I've got," Lincoln continued. "He wanted us to cash in a CD and Paul said we can't do that, we're literally strapped till the end of the month."

After that phone call, Lincoln called her daughter and learned her grandson was okay and that the caller was a scammer.

"I thought it was my grandson, I really did, he sounded scared," she said.

Lincoln is out thousands of dollars and wants to make sure no one else falls for the scam.

"It's devastating," she added. "I kick myself every time I think about it. I felt like a fool afterwards."

She says the calls on her caller ID showed up as zeroes. She also wired the money to Spain. That is a key red flag anytime you are asked to wire money out of the country. The money is very hard to trace and scammers know that and try to use that tactic.

Lincoln says she wishes she would have asked personal questions as that would have given her an idea that the caller was not her grandson.

Classifieds | Report A Typo |  Send Tip |  Get Alerts | See Click Fix
Follow @abc11 on Twitter  |  Become a fan on Facebook

Load Comments