My 87-year-old grandfather recently received a call from his grandson, Adam.
Adam told him he had been in an accident, was in jail and would require $1,800 for bail. The conversation was charged with emotion. Adam was sobbing, hard to understand, but had pertinent information that made sense at the time.
He begged his grandfather not to tell his parents and the pressure to get the situation under control before it got worse was evident.
Grandpa spoke to a “lawyer”, received instructions to wire bail money and with heart pounding and a desire to help his grandson, he went immediately down to the CVS to wire the money.
The “lawyer” requested grandpas cell phone number and throughout the process grandpa received three more calls, he realized in hindsight, to rush the process along.
Fortunately, an employee at CVS stopped to help and recognized an all too familiar scene. She called the police, who in turn checked with the County jail and discovered Adam had not been in any accident, nor had he been in the jail for any amount of time.
The phone number was untraceable and once the caller got wind of someone questioning the situation, he was not heard from again.
The phone call was a scam.
Perhaps most interesting, the employee at CVS said she sees this exact scenario two to three times per week. The scam focuses on the elderly and has believable information about the young person calling to seek help.
Double check the facts before allowing emotions to take over. The scammer will be playing highly on emotion and pressured time constraints.
Please be aware of these types of phone calls and if in doubt, contact the police prior to wiring money.