'Grandparent Scam' Hitting The Metro With A New Twist
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.
"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.
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.
The attorney general also says:
- Be careful of the personal information you share on social media.
- If you are called by someone claiming to be a grandchild in trouble, call them back on their phone or call their parents.
- And never send cash. That’s not how bailing someone out of jail works.
Being on her guard saved Beeby $6,500 and a lot of heart ache.
"That's very hurtful.” Beeby said, “I just can't believe there’s people out there like that that have no conscience whatsoever. They could do things like that to people and not give it another thought."