WILLOUGHBY, Ohio - An 80-year-old grandmother was scammed out of thousands of dollars by a man claiming to be her grandson in trouble overseas. But the scammers second attempt to get more money from her was thwarted when a Willoughby bank intervened.
According to Willoughby Police Department's Facebook page, a resident told them she got a call from who she thought was her grandson in trouble and needed money to get him out.
The unidentified man said he was at a wedding in Guatemala and had a car accident. He asked if she'd wire $2,000 to him to pay for a damaged pole and if she couldn't, he'd be arrested.
Wanting to help, the grandmother wired the funds from her bank account. She was later contacted by the suspect again, asking for an additional $1,700 for medical bills.
When the grandmother attempted to wire the extra cash, bank personnel and the Western Union fraud department intervened. The victim was later contacted by the scammer claiming to be with the FBI. He attempted to obtain more information from her, but this time she hung up and called the Willoughby Police Department.
"The employees there thought it might be a scam and they tried to talk her out of it. But she insisted and they went ahead and wired the money, but this time western union fraud dept caught on to it put a freeze on the funds," Detective Lt. Tom Trem.
Western Union confirmed funds from the first transaction were received in Guatemala. All the while, her grandson was home in Ohio, safe and sound.
"The thing to keep in mind also is that no matter where you think you're sending the money, someone with a fake ID and a pass code can pick it up anywhere in the world," said Trem.
"Many of these scammers are pros and they have an answer logical reason for any question you'd ask them," he said.
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