Lee Swain says the frantic phone call out of the blue will throw you.
For him, it was word that his 27-year-old grandson Mark was hurt and in trouble.
Lee answers the phone and says, “Oh my goodness. What happened?"
Lee was told Mark had been texting and driving, and caused an accident. He needed $900 wired to his attorney right away.
The so-called attorney knew specific information, so Lee wasn't suspicious at first. But later, red flags emerged.
Lee explains, “That was the most suspicious thing, wiring money out of town. I'm thinking the whole time I'm going to go meet this lawyer downtown and Markie's going to be there. That wasn't the case."
Lee was told Mark was hurt, but he demanded to speak to him again. That's when the crooks hung up. He later learned Mark was just fine.
Lee says, “It's just a shame that people had to do that."
I checked the number that showed up in Lee's Caller ID and learned another family lost $6,000 to the same crooks using the exact same story. They only asked for $1,000 at first, but then they came up with more reasons for needing more cash.
I’m so glad Lee knew better and that the word's getting out about this nasty scam.
I always tell people to ask a question only family will know. That usually trips up the bad guys.
And remember, the crooks do their homework. Don't be thrown if they know a lot about you and your loved ones.
These kind of crimes are investigated by a group known as the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Its members are FBI agents and law enforcement working for the National White Collar Crime Center. Grandparent scam calls can be reported online to IC3 at the link listed on the side of this page.