A quick-thinking 73-year-old grandmother has outsmarted a would-be scammer who police claim was planning to fleece her out of thousands of dollars.
The New York grandmother and former 911 dispatcher who requested to be identified only as Jean told CBS News she received a strange call from someone claiming to be her grandson.
The caller claimed he had been arrested for drunk driving and was in jail. The grandmother suspected something out of the ordinary and knew the call was a hoax but decided to have some fun with the scammer and played along.
“I knew he was a real scammer. I just knew he wasn’t going to scam me,” she said.
“He starts calling me ‘grandma,’ and then I’m like, I don’t have a grandson that drives, so I knew it was a scam.”
After a series of calls back and forth, a person claiming to be her grandson’s lawyer told her he needed $8,000 for bail.
“I told him I had the money in the house, and I figured, he’s not going to fall for that. Well, he fell for that hook, line and sinker,” she said.
It was then that Jean set her trap and notified the police. When a man arrived to collect the cash she handed him an envelope full of paper towels, police then pounced and arrested the man. He was later charged with ‘grand larceny in the third degree’ and is scheduled to face court on February 3.
Jean hoped her story would serve as a cautionary tale to others.
“So many people fall for this and you only hear about it on the other end after they’ve lost $8,000,” she said.
Closer to home, Aussies aged 65 years and older were the hardest hit by scams in 2021, losing $49.1 million and accounting for 23 per cent of the total losses for the year. According to the latest data from Scamwatch Aussies lost a reported loss of $211 million in 2021 to scams.