A new wave of calls to seniors is catching a few off guard. Well-meaning senior citizens who think they are helping a grandchild in distress are again becoming victims of the so-called ‘Grandparent Scam’,stated BBB President Jim Hegarty.
On Friday, April 6th, a senior citizen in Lincoln NE, received a phone call from a young man that said, “Grandma, I’m in Peru and I’m in trouble. I couldn’t remember where my hotel was and some guy told me he would take me there. I got in the car with him and he had marijuana in the car. We were stopped and I was taken to the “American Consulate.” Then, a person using the name “George Green” from the “American Consulate” told the woman that $2500 was needed to keep her grandson out of jail. “Mr. Green” directed her to go to a specific grocery store in Lincoln to wire the money to him in Peru. She was informed that she would need to hurry because her grandson’s court time was coming up, and if the money arrived late her grandson would go to jail. The person posing as her “grandson” told her not to tell anyone.
The grandmother quickly went to the store but she only had a debit card. She was told that she needed cash to use Western Union and that $1,999.99 was the maximum amount she could wire. She called “George” back at 877-620-5116 to explain that Western Union has a $2,000 limit. “George” checked with his “supervisor” and told the victim that $2,000 would be accepted. Then the grandma went to the bank located in the grocery store, borrowed $2,000.00 and wired the money to Peru. In addition, she paid a $121 service fee for the transaction.