A Connecticut grandmother still has money in her bank account thanks to the heads-up behavior of an employee at her local supermarket.
Police say the elderly woman was all set to be the latest victim of the “granny scam,” where people receive an “emergency” phone call saying that a loved one — usually a grandchild — has been in an accident and needs to have a pile of cash wired overseas ASAP.
According to the Bristol Press, a local woman showed up at Big Y, a regional New England supermarket chain, with the intention of using Western Union to wire a “large amount” of cash to one of these scammy callers.
Luckily, the Big Y employee handling the transaction had been trained to spot this particular scheme and refused to wire the money.
“Big Y has been very cooperative and they are training all their clerks when they see a senior walking up and trying to send large amounts of cash overseas to question the transaction,” a police sergeant tells the Press.
The police say this is the third granny scam attempt it knows of in just the last week. The first two attempts failed when the intended victims contacted the supposedly hurt loved ones and then called the authorities.
If granny scammers are successful in getting that initial wire transaction, they often continue to pump the cash well dry with additional calls demanding more money for the supposedly injured loved one.
“It’s an extremely serious matter,” says the sergeant. “We don’t even know how many seniors have gone through with it because they may not have told their family members out of embarrassment after they realized they had been scammed.”
Thanks to Scott for the tip!