With all the news of scammers out there stealing money from unsuspecting folks using the lowdown, dirty “Help, I’m your grandson/niece/other close family relative!” act, our hearts are warmed all the more when observant customer associates stop those scams cold. Here to brighten the day comes the tale of the Walmart employee and the loving grandma.
The woman tells FOX2 in St. Louis that she received a phone call this week from someone claiming to be her grandson, saying he’d ended up in a Mexican jail and please, Grandma, help me out of a jam.
“He was very convincing,” she adds, saying he told her he was with someone caught carrying drugs. Very elaborate, indeed. He even included a bit about someone from the U.S. Embassy who would be on the line shortly to confirm his story.
“Now grandma and grandpa you’ve always been there for me, can I depend on you?” he apparently asked her.
So off she went to her local Walmart, ready to send the $2,100 he’d sought. But seeing her stressed expression, the courtesy counter clerk there asked her why she was sending money, and convinced her to get in touch with her grandson. You know, just in case.
The woman went home and checked on him, only to realize he was fine and definitely not in Mexico.
While yes, family members can get into trouble*, verify it’s really someone you know by asking personal questions or just hang up. And also if you don’t have any grandkids, that’s a sure indication of a scam. Not every customer associate is going to be able to catch a scam in its tracks but we sure like the ones who do.
*At 21 I called my mother from a police station in Alicante, Spain during the wee hours of the morning, asking for the phone number of where I was staying. I didn’t need any money so she believed it was me and everything turned out just fine. Also, hi, Mom!