I recently received a phone call supposedly from my grandson in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
His voice was a little muffled and he said, “Hello Grandma, do you know who this is?” I immediately said, “Andrew” and he said I was right. He then went on to say that he had a broken nose from an airbag. During the short conversation, he said that his nose had been taken care of, but the other woman was in the hospital. He also admitted that the accident was his fault, that he gave his attorney my phone number and they would be calling me. I said, “They’re going to call me?” and then we were disconnected. I tried several times to call back the number that was on my phone — 1-201-210-8801 — and kept getting the message to leave a message on an automated voice center.
So, I stayed by a phone all day, expecting him to call back again. I wasn’t suspicious at first, because my husband had just had a birthday and I thought he was calling to wish him a happy one.
After waiting for hours, I called my daughter — Andrew’s mother — in North Carolina to see if she could give me any details, but she didn’t know anything about it, which should have been suspicious also, because they are very close. My sister in Minnesota was suspicious, because last year she received a call from a grandson who also asked if she knew who he was. She said, “John” and he agreed, not knowing there wasn’t a John in her family. My sister-in-law also received a call last year from a grandson, who said he had a cold when she said it didn’t sound like him. She knew that he would have called his father, not her, for help and hung up. Her husband, my brother, also received a call, only this time it was from his son, asking for money. When he said that he had just sent him money recently, his “son” said he needed it in a green card. As soon as his wife heard that she told him to hang up, it was a scam.
Anyway, I left a message on my grandson’s phone and he called me back shortly afterward saying he was fine and didn’t know anything about an accident. Shortly after that, his mother called to tell me it was a scam. I was fortunate that we were disconnected as he probably would have said he needed money for the so-called attorney. The real Andrew would never have asked us for money and that would have tipped me off immediately. Meanwhile I had sent emails to all my family members, friends and pastor asking for prayers for Andrew’s family. So, I had to let them all know that it was a scam and also thanked them for their prayers.
So the scammers are still out there and working. My suggestions are if someone calls you grandma or grandpa and asks if you know who it is, that should send up a red flag. Make up a name and see if they agree. If they disagree and give you a correct name, ask for proof such as parents or siblings names, etc. If they say they have been in an accident, are in jail or any other reason for needing money, beware. It is a scam. Just hang up.
Meriona Henshaw
Farmington