This isn’t a new type of scam but every so often it hits someone who falls for it. Barb says her mom knew it didn’t sound right and she just e-mailed us to share her story, to make sure you and your elders are aware of it:
Some guy who claimed to be a grandson just called my mom claiming he was in a car wreck, got a broken nose, had stitches in his leg, and was arrested on DUI charges in Vegas. He told her not to tell anyone, but he needed money to get out of jail.
My mom asked why he was in Las Vegas; he said he had been at a wedding. Thank God, my mom said this doesn’t sound like you, and asked, what is your mother’s name? The guy said his nose was broken in 2 places and that’s why he sounded different. The guy wanted her to call his lawyer (whose name is supposedly Harvey Gardner) and have $9800 to be sent to bail him out.
She said she didn’t have that kind of money. He told her to go to the bank and get it. He told her to “call the lawyer” in Las Vegas so he could get out of jail and gave her the phone number (514-015-5782) and maybe she could pay by credit card. When she asked again what his mother’s name was, he said, “I love you, grandma,” and said he had to get off the phone.
My mom called me, very upset, and wanted to know what she should do. Luckily I was able to reach my nephew (who the guy pretended to be). He was in Spokane, not Las Vegas, and he was not in any car accident. I’m grateful and proud my mom questioned the guy. I’m fairly sure they used information from Facebook targeting an elderly woman, hoping for an easy mark.
I called the Seattle Police but they said that since she didn’t give them any money, there was actually no crime.
This was a very scary call to receive. I want to spread word to stop these scammers. I just hope to prevent people from sending these types of people any money. I’m glad I had talked to my mom about various scams people use to get money and (had told her to) never give out any credit card information to anyone who calls her.
This scam is so common that even the FBI’s website has a warning about it, saying reports date back up to seven years; one version goes back even further, according to Snopes.com. (And here’s a story from the East Coast about a scammer who got caught.)