An old scheme to separate elderly grandparents from their money is again rearing its head and it's called the Grandparent Scam.
Mozell Andrews, 83, and her 88-year-old husband, Ford Andrews, are just the latest victims of an old scam with a new twist.
They received a frantic phone call right before Christmas and the caller claimed to be the Andrews' 19-year-old grandson. Mozell Andrews asked CBS Atlanta News to conceal the young man's identity.
"I trusted the child so much," said Mozell Andrews. "He kept telling me, ‘I'm gonna pay you back, grandma.'"
But the voice on the line wasn't their grandson; he was a scammer calling Forsyth County from all the way in Santa Barbara, CA. The caller said he'd been visiting friends and caused a car wreck and he needed $1,700 to get out of jail.
The Andrews were compelled to help and went to Walmart to send the cash via Money Gram, but the crooks weren't satisfied. Mozell Andrews then got a second call from a phony lawyer saying they needed another $1,700 to keep their grandson from being sued - so they wired the cash.
Finally, Mozell Andrews knew something was wrong, so she called her grandson's cell phone.
"He answered and I said, ‘Are you OK?' He said, ‘Yeah, grandma, what's the matter?' I said, ‘Are you in California?' He said, ‘Grandma, I've never been to California. No, I'm at home,'" said Mozell Andrews.
Ford Andrews thinks the scammers found information about his grandson on the internet, and now he's got a message for the crooks that got away with the scam.
"I'd tell them to meet me out here at a certain place," said Ford Andrews. "I've got some money for you."
This scam is so effective the Federal Bureau of Investigation has a warning on their web page. It said to keep from becoming a victim you should resist pressure to act quickly and that you should try to make contact with your family member before you send any money - because once you wire that cash, you can't get it back.
Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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