Grandma scam targets Plainview woman - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/11/09

Grandma scam targets Plainview woman

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"The phone rang and I answered it and the young man said 'hey Grandma' what are you doing which should have been my first clue because I'm not Grandma to anybody," said Gay Thompson.   

Gay Thompson is known to her grandchildren as "Grand". That's why this conversation seemed a bit odd at first, but she didn't think much of it.

"He said it's your number one favorite grandson and my first response was hey Scott what are you doing," said Thompson.   

Starting with small talk Scott chatted with his grandma before becoming upset. He told her he was in Canada with a few friends, they had been in a terrible car wreck, and he was in jail for drinking and driving.  He said he needed money and he needed it fast.

Thompson says she instantly felt a sense of panic.

"I really couldn't imagine Scott doing something like this, but he is 22 and you do stupid things," said Thompson. 

Thompson told her grandson he needed to call his father.  When he said this was his only phone call she asked him for the name of the jail.

"Get me a name now, and that's when he hung up. I've been really stupid, but they hit at your most vulnerable spot, I think most of us who have grandchildren are very sympathetic to the fact that you would do anything to help them," said Thompson. 

Nan Campbell with the Better Business Bureau says reports of the "Grandma Scam" have occurred all over the country. She warns to probe these callers with questions, to see if they really are who they say.

"If they don't know who they are talking with, don't just volunteer information you have every right to hang up on someone and I think that is the cautionary tale we need to tell today," said Campbell. 

As for Thompson she is just happy she didn't get scammed and that the real Scott is okay.

"I had a message on the answering machine. He was really mad he said Grand, this is Scott this is the real number one grandson. I am not in Canada, I am not drunk, I am not in jail," laughed Thompson.

The BBB says if this happens to you, their best advice is to report it immediately to the police department or sheriff's office.

The Better Business Bureau
For more information on consumer guidance, business guidance, dispute resolution, and consumer news and alerts; click here to goto the Better Business Bureau's web site.

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