February 19, 2009

Telephone money scam hits home

Young men generally sound the same to Patty Morgenstern. So when a young man claiming to be her grandson called at about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 3 and said he was in need of money, she had little reason to doubt him.

But then the voice said he needed money wired to Canada – and something clicked for Patty. She knew she was being scammed.

Patty and her husband, Harold, had seen a news story on the television not long before scams were being conducted over the telephone, and that the scammer usually requested that money be sent to Canada.

"When he mentioned ‘Canada,’ the light went on," Patty said.

"He said, ‘This is your favorite grandson,’ " she continued. "He said he was with a friend in Canada, and calling from a payphone because he had an accident and was in trouble."

Alertly, she asked his name and he told her, "Ryan" – which does not match any of her grandsons’ names. Patty asked him his mother’s name, to which the uneasy caller replied, "JoAnne," before hanging up the phone. After the call, she was going to leave it at that.

Then, the very next day at about the same time, the phone rang again.

Again, the caller claimed to be her grandson stranded in Canada – and said he may not sound right because he broke his nose in an accident.

The Weather Network