Thursday, September 24, 2009

Grandparent Scam that hit my family

We all get these emails about people being scammed out of money and don't fall for this etc. I admit I've never put much thought into them because this has never happen to me or anyone I know! Well sad to say that thinking is no longer valid.

My mom's mom was scammed last week. I rarely talk to this grandmother and sadly she doesn't know a lot of things that are going on in my life which helped the scammer use this to their advantage. Due to a lack of talking to each other my grandmother didn't know that I rarely leave my house let alone travel or that I would never call to borrow money or ask not to tell my parents. I'm 30+ years old and have kids which makes me being social sometimes hard. Yes I know that is a sad excuse and I promise to work on this.

Thursday of last week grandmother received a call from a frantic girl. From what I'm gathering I'm thinking the girl was crying and so frantic that my grandmother asked if it was me. That was what the scammer needed to get my name. She ran with it from there! She said she (as in impressionating me) that she was in a car accident in Ontario, Canada. That the accident was very bad and I was taken to jail! They took my cell phone and the only number I remembered was her's. Sadly the person being so frantic didn't allow my grandmother to think that this would be a odd situation for me. One being out of the country so far from home and then asking her not to tell my parents. She now sees that this was a weird situation but they got her so worked up that she didn't piece it all together until a few days later.

The girl told her she needed $3,000.00 to bail herself out of jail and that the amount needed to be sent to a girl that lived there that would be bailing me out. My grandmother rushed right out and sent the money. She received a call later from a guy saying he was at the jail and grandmother needed to change the name on the money order. She received a 3rd call saying they were the Canadian police and had a guy in jail and her money would be sent back. I believe this last call was to keep her from contacting the authorities thinking it was already taken care of.

Sadly my grandmother didn't find out the truth until Saturday when My mom just happened to pick Cole up on a whim and mentioned it to grandmother who asked if I was back. Yup then the story unfolded, my mom thought it might be someone I know. Sadly my grandmother and I are not super close so there is no mention of her and since my mom isn't my bio mom her maiden name is not linked to me. I did do some searching on Facebook and found the girl that name was given for the money order, now she could be part of the scam or being scammed for her identity also.

So yesterday I received a call from an officer asking me a lot of question, yes I got totally freaked out but after calling the police department that they do have a person with that name and his number is what I have I gave him the information that I found. But it has made me very paranoid with what information I put here on my blog or on Facebook.

So thankfully to my BFF Deb who I called right away when my mom called me, she did some googling and found that this is a HUGE scam and Washington State has been hit very hard some loosing a few thousand to a poor guy loosing $7,000 and another loosing $15,000.00. The people that do this are horrible and thoughtless. I have mean thoughts for them but I'm trying to pray for them and for the poor victims of this scam.

Here is what I found and hope you pass along to your grandparents. When we're older living only on our Social Security and small pension doesn't leave a lot of extra money for horrible people that will take from them.
Caring grandparents are being warned to watch out for a telephone scam to steal thousands of dollars.

Canadian con artists are making phone calls pretending to be grandchildren stuck in an emergency situation, such as a car accident or being arrested. They say they need money wired right away to pay for damages or post bail, said the Better Business Bureau of Vancouver Island.

“This scam preys on the emotions of seniors who want to help their grandchildren,” Rosalind Scott, BBB executive director, said today.

Callers usually pose as a grandchild and say something like, “It’s me, your favourite grandchild,” the BBB said. Grandparents fill in the blanks.

Usually, the grandchild say they were travelling in Canada. One grannie sent $15,000 believing she was helping a grandchild who had been in a car accident, the BBB said.

Grandparents should verify that they really are speaking to a grandchild, Scott said.

Before sending money, seniors should first call the grandchild or other relatives themselves to check out the story.

Be cautious of any request to wire money. These funds are difficult to track and usually can’t be recovered, the BBB said.

The scam has shown up in the United States and the Canadian Anti-Fraud Call Centre is receiving an increasing number of complaints. So far this year, 350 complaints have been filed, compared with 128 complaints in 2007.

15 comments:

  1. oh awful! I'm so sorry for your poor grandma! Sadly, one of my best friends got scammed out of a lot of money through some guy she met on a dating site. I'm wary of everyone now...hence my panic post a few days ago. I'm glad it's starting to work itself out for you guys. I really can't believe people these days... Go read my newest post. Maybe you'll feel more hopeful. :)

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  2. How sad~What a shame for all!

    I can't believe how sucky some people are...!

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  3. Oh my gosh! I feel so bad this happened to your family. It's sad someone can actually do this and be fine with it. They are calling and surposely upsetting people enough where they are sending money... how could you live with yourself while you were upsetting someone so badly?

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  4. Wow! Thanks for the info and so sorry it had to happen to your family. I hope they catch who did it.

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  5. Noooooooo! This is so sad, I feel for your Granny! I pray these a**holes get caught!

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  6. Oh Lex, sorry to hear about this! It does show us that she truly loves you and you are her favorite! but it is a bad thing...

    Mine would have said "sorry, but we helped your father way too much when you were little, so see you when you get out..." :)

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  7. I swear, if people just put their brains to good rather than evil this world would be such a remarkable place.

    I am so very sorry for your grandmother.

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  8. No way! That is just awful, who would do something like that? Someone without a soul!!

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  9. Wow-I feel so bad for your grandma! I hope they can catch the people that are doing it!

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  10. That is so bad. Hope your grandmother is ok.
    I don't understand how people can do something like that. Hope they catch them.

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  11. OH I heard about this on the news.I am so sorry for your mom's mom that is awful.

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  12. Glad you got to the bottom of this. What a mess.

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  13. That's horrible.......I'm so sorry that happened to your grandmother. What's wrong with people?

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  14. How SAD!! I am so sorry that this happened to her! Man, if only the authorities could catch these horrible people...

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  15. That just SUCKS!! You and I are having the same bad thoughts about these people. Hope your grandma doesn't suffer too much from the money she lost, and is able to get it back at some point (although I think it is probably unlikely).
    We were scammed by someone who was supposed to be our "friend", we knew her for three years, then she took our money (a hell of a lot more than $3,000) and has since disappeared... Now we are really suffering and we are on Social Security and Medicare, so we KNOW how hard it can be.
    {{{ Hugs }}}

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