Friday, September 23, 2011

Grandparent Scam Strikes Again

Put yourself in the shoes of a caring Grandmother. Let’s say one day you receive a call from your grandson telling you they’ve been in an accident and are being held in jail in the Dominican Republic. They want you to keep their little debacle a secret but they need you to wire money to them ASAP to get them out of jail.

What would you do?

Claudia Beach of Jacksonville, Florida recently faced this exact scenario recently and in a worried, emotional state, sent the money straight away to her needy “grandson”. Her “grandson” first called asking for $3,400 for bail out of the Dominican Republic jail he was stuck in.

“My emotions went wild. I couldn’t think. All I could think was he was in jail in a foreign country”.

She rushed to her nearest Publix and wired the money immediately via Western Union.
Keeping her “grandson”s secret she apparently didn’t discus this matter with the boy’s parents. The very next day she received another call from him. This time he said they were making him pay his medical expenses of $2,400.

To Western Union!

Later that very afternoon the phone rang again. This time sonny-boy was asking for $1,800 to pay for the medical expenses of the lady he hit.
She says that the employees at Western Union questioned her each time if she was sure if this was her grandson. When he called the first time he told her that he didn’t sound like himself since he had been in the accident and had stitches in his lips. In a concerned state, she bought this story.

The money was wired each time to a lawyer by the name of Angel Rosario. Money that Claudia Beach will never see again. A total of $8,300. She has since filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission and the local police. Beach has come forward with this story to bring awareness to others that might be at risk for this scam.

To protect yourself:
  • Do not disclose any information before you have confirmed it really is your grandchild.
  • If you’re not sure ask the caller for their middle name or the elementary school he or she attended.
  • Do not respond with a name but instead let the caller explain who he or she is.

What breaks my heart about this scam is that it preys on love. If you are a caring Grandparent be wary if you receive a call like this that tugs on your heart strings. If you receive a distress call from a family member in another country I would recommend first, verifying that they are in fact in another country. Using the bullet pointed suggestions above or maybe calling their cell phone? Or their parents to ask how they are doing and what they are up to? I understand there will be different cases for different family dynamics but before you pay up you need to verify an identity!

Video about Grandparent Scam Strikes Again by @GetOutOfDebtGuy from
This guest post was submitted by Steve Rhode who is a consumer debt expert and helps people for free to learn how to get out of debt and avoid scams.


  1. Same people must have scammed my grandmother/mother this way. Dominican Republic, Angel Rosario, both the same. My mother didn't get on the phone until the third call and that's when she knew it wasn't my voice. But a good bit of money had already been sent and lost.

    They must have hacked her email or facebook or something to get some of the information they used. They knew a friend's name (who I had recently visited and emailed her about), and they knew what I called my grandmother (not grandma or granny or anything).

  2. We have been scammed. At 2:15 in the afternoon, the grandmother recieves a call from the grandson. he said he was in the dominican republic and had been in an accident and had a broken nose. he had flown over to attend a wedding and was involved in a minor accident afterwards and was in jail charged with reckless driving. needed 2800 dollars to send attorney for the damages on the other persons car. grandmother was not supposed to tell the Mom about it because he knew she would be upset, so grandmother sends the money. the person calls back to get the confirmation number on the western union money transfer. she gives it to him and grandson is supposed to be back in this country the same night. after 5pm the caller calls again, to tell grandmother that the judge has gone for the day so the grandson won't be released until the next day. meantime, mom is in the house and picks up the extension and hears the callers voice and immediately knew it was not her son. she asked who it was and he said the name and said he had a broken nose and was speaking differently.
    mom was not convinced and asked a question the boy would know the answer to and the caller hung up. I assume that the judge story was a way to collect MORE money the next day with another elaborate story.
    police reports taken on the local level and we were told that the money would never be refunded and the culprits will never serve a day in jail or have to appear in a court of law. all because it was another country.
    I believe that this is a FEDERAL issue and intend to pursue it forever if that is what it takes.
    Western Union also needs some way to track their transfers and it should be at least a 3 day waiting period before the funds can be picked up by the reciever, unless it is going directly into another account where it is trackable.


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