Battle Creek Man Scammed Out Of $15,000 By ‘Grandson’
Police are investigating after an elderly Battle Creek man reported that he had fallen victim to a scam by someone claiming to be his grandson.
The Battle Creek Enquirer says that the the 92-year-old told the Battle Creek police that Friday morning, he was called by someone who claimed to be his grandson; the man on the phone didn’t sound like his grandson, but he simply said he had a cold. The scammers told the victim that he had been in a crash in Lansing that left a woman injured, and that he was arrested and taken to Florida.
He was told that he needed to overnight $15,000 in cash to a Miami address to pay for bond.
The victim sent the money by FedEx as instructed, and when he didn’t hear from his “grandson” after the time of the supposed bond hearing he contacted his real grandson, who said he had never been arrested, revealing the scam. They were unable to stop the package in time before it was delivered, and police in Miami didn’t find any suspects when they went to the mailing address.
According to the FTC, scammers attempting this type of grift stole $41 million in 2018; that's compared to $26 million in 2017. They say if you get a call from someone claiming to be a loved one in trouble, hang up and call that loved one at a number you know is correct, or contact another friend or family member to verify the story.
They say you should never send cash or a gift card in the mail in this way, or wire money to someone who demands it.