Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Denver grandfather out $24,000 in “grandson scam.” These scams make me mad. I can imagine it happening to my grandfather.

John is an 88-year-old Denver man who lives by himself. He received a call Nov. 18 from his authorities in Spain who told him his grandson was in jail. His grandson has committed an indiscretion and needed money.

The authorities allowed John’s grandson say a few words over the phone.

“Hi Grandpa,” said a voice on the other line.

Then the authorities demanded John wire them $24,000. John went to his bank account and did just that. No one at his bank questioned the odd transfer.

As it turns out, John’s grandson is safe in Boulder with his family. He hasn’t traveled to Spain. It was a scam.
 His daughter, Suzanne, called to ask me if I’d hold the bank accountable for not stopping him. I understand her frustration, but this isn’t the bank’s fault.

“They spooked him so well,” Suzanne said of the conmen. She is waiting for the branch manager to call her back.

Dealing with elderly parents and grandparents is tough. I know firsthand. Add in scam artists and we have to be even more vigilant.

Talk to your parents and grandparents about scams. Ask them to call you when they get phone calls of anyone asking for money.

Despite Suzanne’s efforts to help get her father’s money back, I’m sure it’s lost.

The conmen likely don’t live in Spain anyway. U.S. Authorities are too busy to investigate.