Grandparent scams the scammers

Grandparent scams the scammers

By Greg Collier

We don’t often talk about scammers being arrested for a few reasons. One is that more often than not, scammers are based overseas, which makes them difficult to apprehend and prosecute. Another reason is that in numerous instances, it’s best to just hang up on a scammer than to try to confront them. However, there was a story reported over the weekend that was just too good not to share.

This particular story involves the grandparent scam. Longtime readers will know the grandparent scam is when scammers call an elderly victim pretending to be one of the victim’s grandchildren. Typically, the scammer will say that they’ve been involved in some form of legal trouble and need money for bail or other legal fees. Then the scammer will ask that the fake fees be paid in some convoluted manner that will be hard to trace.

Recently, scammers tried this on a 73-year-old grandmother from Long Island. The caller claiming to be her grandson said he had been arrested for a DUI and needed $8,000 for bail. The scammers called the wrong grandmother because not only does she not have any driving age grandchildren, but she’s also a former police dispatcher. She is said to have played along with the scammer. The scammer said a courier would be coming to her house to pick up the money. The woman called police and when the ‘courier’ showed up, she handed him an envelope full of paper towels. That’s when police were able to arrest the 28-year-old suspect.

While it’s always good to see an alleged scammer get their comeuppance, we don’t recommend letting them come to your home like this. This instance was a special circumstance since the woman had procedural knowledge of law enforcement. In most cases, if you know someone is trying to scam you, hang up and then call police to let them know this scam is in the area. Too often, grandparent scammers are now posing as couriers, and you don’t want them coming to your home. Who knows what they could do later if they know where you live and know that you have money.

And as always, if you receive one of these calls, contact the grandchild that they’re claiming is in legal trouble. You’ll probably find that they’re in no trouble at all.