Sacto 9-1-1
August 21, 2008
Reader: Beware of 'Grandma, I'm in trouble' scam

Bee reader Nancy MacDonald of Carmichael phoned in today with a tale that is similar to the "Granmda" scam blog item we posted May 16.

MacDonald said someone called her during the first week of August and said, "Grandma, I'm in trouble." She said his voice sounded similar to her grandson, who she thought at the time was in Ojai. The caller went on to say he was in jail in Montreal and needed money for bail. She said she spent hours on the phone with the U.S. Consulate office in Montreal to verify the story and see how she could send funds to Canada if she needed to.

She ended up not sending any money, and when a different caller phoned Wednesday with the same "Grandma, I'm in trouble" opening line, she quickly dismissed him. Her grandson is safe in Redding, she said.

The Better Business Bureau lists several such scams, some targeting seniors, and tips to avoid them.

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