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Don’t Trust. Just Verify.

, , , , , | Legal | May 13, 2021

It’s a Saturday, nothing especially noteworthy going on. I’m on my computer in my room and my mom’s down the hall watching TV. Suddenly, my phone rings; it’s my grandpa.

Me: “Hey, Grandpa! How are you?”

Grandpa: “[My Name], I’m at the bank. I have the money! Are you all right?”

Me: “What? I’m fine, Grandpa. What money?”

Grandpa: “The money you told me to send you! Are you all right? Are you in prison?”

I leap up, freaked out.

Me: “Prison?! What are you talking about?! Grandpa, I’m at home!”

Grandpa: “You’re… not in prison? Does your mother know?”

Me: “No! I’m in my room, at home! Mom’s right down the hall. Do you need to talk to her?”

Grandpa: “I think I might, yes.”

I go to my mom’s room.

Me: “Hey, uh, Grandpa’s on the phone, and I think something weird is going on.”

I handed her the phone and they talked for a while.

Apparently, some scammer had called my grandpa with the ol’ “Grandpa, it’s me, your grandson!” And my grandpa, being, you know, old, didn’t realize it wasn’t me, dropping my name and giving the scammer a chance to latch onto it. The scammer then gave him a sob story about how “I” had taken a trip to the city and gotten “myself” arrested somehow and that my grandpa needed to wire “me” a large sum of money to pay bail. The scammer also insisted that my grandpa not tell my mother about this, which he agreed to for some reason. He was already at the bank, checkbook in hand, but luckily, he had the presence of mind at that point to call my actual cell phone to confirm I was okay. 

The good news is that he didn’t lose any money. The bad news is that my mom was pretty pissed at him for a while for nearly getting scammed and for the notion that if I were in prison, he would attempt to keep that secret from her.