UPDATE: Beware Scammers Know Your Family, Scam Plays At Your Heartstrings
My friend's Mother was almost scammed with this old phone scam that preys on your heartstrings. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and don't be fooled by the smooth talker. I have updated this story because of new information I have discovered.
This phone scam is still going on. After doing some research on the internet and following up on this article I wrote last fall, the scam is good and no matter how many warnings go out to the public, it still continues to work. The scam is mostly run on older people on their house phone, taking advantage of the person being home and not getting out much.
Now the phone scam is taking advantage of people on their cell phones, so it becomes even more believable, here's my friend's story;
My friend says her Mother got a phone call from her grandson, who said he had a friend that took a trip to Mexico and died while down there. So, his friend's family wanted him to go to Mexico and get the body. While down there they were pulled over and arrested for some reason and didn't have their paperwork and was thrown into jail. They could spend 30 days in jail or get out and prove why there were there if they could make bail.
My friend's Mom bought the story and went to get her credit card, that's when my friend stepped in and grabbed the phone and said hello. The person on the other end gave an excuse for not sounding like the person they were supposed to be, when my friend asked for the birth date of the person on the phone, they hung up.
My first thought is, what if the person had come up with the correct birth date. The person played on the fact that Grandma would most likely help the grandson out. The Grandma also didn't question who it was because the story was believable to her and he knew enough information to pose as her grandson.
My warning to you, ask questions that only that person would know. Offer to call them back, if it is that person they will let you. If a large sum of money is requested, you should question the story. Most of all, don't give any information to them, don't lead the story, don't tell them any information about yourself, and most of all, don't give them any financial information. If this happens to you, call the police right away.