Calls from Scammers who Say They're Relatives and Ask for Money

A couple of weeks ago I received a phone call from a man who began with, "Hi Grandma." He said he had some bad news to share with me. He said he had been driving with friends and the police stopped the car because the driver (not him) was speeding. Drugs were found under the driver's seat. Since nobody claimed the drugs, all of the people in the car were jailed. As the conversation continued, I kept thinking, "This man doesn't sound like my grandson." He asked me to provide bail money to get him out of jail. The echo was so bad I wondered if the jail was recording the conversation. "You don't sound like yourself on this phone line," I commented. The caller hung up immedinstantly.

My brother-in-law received a similar call. The caller said he was in a Mexican jail and needed bail money. According to the local police department, this is a nation-wide scam, and most of the calls come from overseas, hence the echo. The echo also helps to disguise the caller's voice. When I reported my call to the police, the officer was all-too-familiar with the scam. "I hope you didn't send him any money," he commented. No, I didn't send money, but I was fooled for a few minutes. Thank goodness I made the comment about the caller's voice.

Don't become the victim of a scam. If you get a similar call, report it to your local police department and the state fraud bureau.