Local Phone Scam Uncovered
Money scams are hard to spot and often involve people who are vulnerable or elderly.
I was in Houston yesterday when I received a frantic phone call from my 89-year-old grandfather. I was puzzled when he asked me if I was all right and to find out which jail was I in. Confused, I told him I was perfectly fine and not in jail.
He went on to ask me where I wanted him to wire the $7,800 for my bond. After again reassuring him I was not in any danger and trying to assure him I was in Houston for work, he still did not understand the situation.
My grandfather had just been targeted by a money scam. Here's how it works.
A person called him up and pretended to be me. He spoke to my grandfather like I spoke to him. In a very short period of time while using the correct verbiage, the scammer had gained my elderly grandfather's trust.
He went on to tell my grandfather that I had been arrested in Orange, Texas for DUI and drug possession. The caller told him the bond was $7,800 and I would be released from jail if the money was wired via Western Union to someone named Michael Stevens. The person also asked that my grandfather not contact my parents. The scammer claimed Michael Stevens was with the county and handling the situation. Of course, it was all a lie set up by the scammer to gain money.
After calming my extremely confused grandfather down and visiting with him personally, he acknowledged that he was being set up by a scam artist.
He could have easily driven to Orange and wired the money. I am glad he took the correct steps to investigate the phone call.
We phoned our local law enforcement and notified them. They said it was a very common scam. If you have elderly loved ones, I suggest setting up a family safe word or specific question only you and your family know the answer to. That is what we did to help ensure nothing like this happens again.