I got a phone call Monday morning from my friend Thelma
Cardwell-Cale informing me of a scam that almost convinced her to send $2,000 to her grandson.
On the line was her “grandson”, though he addressed her as “Grandma” – not her grandmother name – and she said it didn’t sound like him. He said that he had been sick. Thelma had heard he wasn’t feeling well, too.
“Grandson” asked if she remembered his good friend David Warren. She replied that she didn’t. He explained that he had died and his funeral was in Mexico City. He went on to say that his family had sent him the money to attend because he was such a good friend. This upset Thelma and she admitted that she got emotional with him. He even consoled her.
Then it turned. He said that a family friend was giving him a ride and the friend was pulled over for talking on his cell phone while driving. Thelma asked if he was in jail and he confirmed it. That is when he said that he needed $2,000. She asked for his telephone number to call back and of course, he said it was a pay phone. She said that she would have to have some time to raise the money and really needed to have a number to call him back.
Throughout the scam, the caller said things that raised some red flags, but Thelma being the loving grandmother that she is, kept listening and asking questions.
“I knew that it didn’t sound quite right, but I really wanted to help. He was so nice and polite and sounded like something her grandson would do,” said Cardwell-Cale.
When she realized that it was really a scam, she felt lucky that she didn’t send the money. This is a lesson to be learned by all of us. These scammers are good. They give compelling stories and some of them glean information from social media.
The way I see it, question everything. If you want to be called “paranoid” so be it. There are scummy people out there preying on innocent victims. Report these calls to the authorities and yes, to us. It doesn’t hurt to keep the warnings current. Not only will it save money, it will also save the embarrassment of being scammed.
SUE BROWN is the editor of the Pleasanton Express. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or write at P.O. Drawer 880, Pleasanton, TX 78064.