I lost $9.5k after ‘desperate call from grandson who was in a crash’ – when ‘federal agents’ got involved I called 911

A GRANDMOTHER has lost $9,500 to a heartless scammer who pretended to be her grandson.

The fraudster called the 77-year-old woman and convinced her he had gotten into a car crash and needed help.

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A grandmother has lost $9,500 after a scammer pretended to be a grandson needing her help (file photo)Credit: Getty

Local police in Hingham, Massachusetts, about 45 minutes south of Boston, told the woman’s story to warn residents about the grandparent scam.

On Monday, the elderly woman got a call from a man claiming to be her grandson, according to the Hingham Police Department.

He told her that he’d gotten into a car accident that injured a pregnant woman and that he needed cash to help pay for her hospital bills.

The scammer begged the grandmother for $9,500 and pleaded that she not tell his parents about the incident.

The elderly woman trusted that the caller was her grandson, and went to a local bank in Hinham to withdraw the huge sum of cash.

After collecting the money, she got a call from a man who claimed to be a federal agent “monitoring her grandson’s case,” Hingham police said.

The so-called agent instructed the grandma to go back to her house, staple the bag of cash, and wait for a government official to stop by.

The man gave the grandmother a description of the vehicle that would arrive and said they would be there soon.

When the car came to her home, the grandmother walked outside and gave the money to a female driver.

The following day, the same man claiming to be an agent said the pregnant woman had a miscarriage and that lawyers were involved.

He said that her grandson needed $5,000 in additional cash to cover her medical expenses.

I hung the phone up on a scam caller and drove straight to my bank to report it – they said money was safe, I lost $15,000 within 30 minutes

The woman started to get suspicious and reached out to a family member for advice.

The relative urged her to call 911 and notify them about the calls, and a police officer came to her home.

With local police nearby, the grandmother kept taking calls from the scammers and told them that she had gotten the $5,000.

The fraudsters arranged another visit and a driver came to the home before police descended on the car.

Detectives learned that the driver had been hired through a ride-share app to pick up a package and drive it to an address out of state.

Police do not believe he was aware of the scam and they are continuing to investigate the people behind the heartless scheme.

Hingham police used this horrific story as a warning for residents to look out for “grandparent scams,” which are normally emails and calls that target elderly people.

Officials warned grandparents to hang up the phone and contact someone directly if anyone claiming to be a loved one makes a suspicious call.

What is a grandparent scam?

Grandparent scams are usually phone calls made by fraudsters pretending to be an elderly person’s grandchild

Scammers will look at a grandparent’s social media to learn about their family before making the call

Then, they will pretend to be a loved one who is in crisis and needs help

The fraudsters will create a sense of urgency and prey on grandparents’ emotions to get information from them

Scammers oftentimes use gift cards or money transfer apps to get funds from the victims

RED FLAGS TO LOOK FOR

A common practice for scammers is to create a sense of urgency to keep their victims from hanging up the phone.

They will also try to get the victim to use gift cards or money transfer apps that cannot be traced.

Security experts recommend that everyone, especially elderly consumers, keep their guard up during unsolicited calls.

Another bank customer hung up on a call after realizing it was a scam but still lost $15,000 in minutes.

Top tips on avoiding scams:

As scams become more sophisticated with the use of artificial intelligence, it is important you know how to spot a scam and how to avoid them.

  • Be skeptical of online deals that seem too good to be true, especially on social media.
  • Scammers will often use tactics to make you panicked so you make quick decisions – be cautious if you are told to take immediate action and verify who has contacted you.
  • Chase Bank warns customers to “never return any unexpected funds without calling Chase first.”
  • Never send money to someone you have only spoken to online or by phone as this is likely a romance scam.
  • Unless you 100% know who you are talking to, never give someone remote access to your device.
  • Never accept help from strangers at an ATM and always be vigilant when making withdrawals.
  • Do not send money or click any links indicating that you have won a prize.

Source: Chase.com

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