Woman loses $4K in grandson kidnapping scam

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An 82-year-old Greensburg woman lost $4,000 when she fell victim of a wire money scam.

Authorities said the woman received a phone call last Wednesday from a man claiming to be her grandson. He told her that he had been arrested and was in prison.

“He said, ‘Gram, don’t tell anybody in the family but I’m in trouble.’ So I said, ‘What happened?’ He said, ‘I was riding with this friend that I haven’t seen for years and we got picked up for speeding. And they found dope in his car,’” the victim said. “He said, ‘I’ll let you talk to the officer.’”

According to police, the man told the victim she needed to wire $4,000 for her grandson to be released from jail. He told her to wire the money at Walmart to an international location so it wouldn’t show up on her grandson’s record.

The grandmother said she wired the money to an unknown location in Lima, Peru. Shortly afterward, she said she realized her grandson wasn’t in jail and the event was a scam.

“It didn’t even dawn on me. I just knew I had to help my grandson with whatever I needed to do,” the woman said.

The woman told Channel 11’s Courtney Brennan that she’s seen the scams on TV before, and never thought she’d be a victim.

“I don’t know how they got my name. How did they get my name?” the woman said. “I really feel bad because I fell for this.”

Authorities advise anyone who receives a phone call like this to contact police.

“Be careful. Call somebody before you do anything. Don’t do what I did,” the woman said.