'Grandparent Scam' Hits Omaha - FOX 42: Omaha News, Sports and Weather; kptm.com |

'Grandparent Scam' Hits Omaha

Nicole Ebat

OMAHA(KPTM)--The so-called "Grandparent Scam" has been around since 2008, but according to the Better Business Bureau, it's picked up in popularity lately.

Now it's hit close to home. An Omaha grandma sent scammers nearly $25,000 thinking it'd save her granddaughter from landing in a Mexican jail.

The 89 year-old woman got a call from someone crying, claiming to be her granddaughter. The woman told her she had won a trip to Mexico with friends and had been in a car accident.

She told the grandmother that she was going to go to jail and asked the grandmother to wire $1800 to keep that from happening.

She did ask several personal questions. The person posing as her granddaughter answered them all.

"Being the loving grandmother that she is, she went and took the money out of the account and the money was gone," said Liz.

The next day the grandmother was called again, this time from someone claiming to be from the American Consolate. She was told drugs were found in the "granddaughter's" car and that she was now in jail.

The person told her it would take $23,000 to be used as a bribe with Mexican police to get her granddaughter out of jail. She was told to keep this information to herself.

"This can happen to anyone. They covered every base with her. They told her what to tell the bank, they told her not to tell her family, they told her not to call my parents, not to tell anyone. They had her believing everything that they said and the depth they would go to in this scheme is unimaginable."

The BBB says they're starting to see more sophistication with this particular scam.

"Unusually they get the money, they take the money and they run, but to persist and to follow up and to try and take advantage in a deeper way is a little bit unusual, but we're seeing more and more of that," said Jim Hegarty.

Since most of the crimes are perpetrated overseas, there's not a lot that can be done once the money is gone.

The BBB says prevention is your best bet.

If you get a phone call from someone who asks you to wire money to another country, hang up.

You can call the BBB's Senior Line toll-free at 877-637-3334.

The family of the woman says they plan to sue the bank.

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