Carolyn L. Braun (

The lowest of low …

scam grandparents.jpg

Last Monday was quite the crazy day. It was President’s day, and since there was no school that day, I was lucky to spend the day with great-granddaughter Lena. We decided to go to Milaca (just 13 miles away) to a store called Milaca Unclaimed Freight. It’s a large store that has a little of most everything – from house goods to toys to tools  to tires to furniture and more. You can usually find me in the aisles for paper crafting supplies – but there are many more treasures to find.

Not long after we arrived, however, I got a phone call from Grandpa (my husband). His voice was frantic. Even though he knew our plans, he asked where we were. Then he said: “You need to come home as soon as possible. It’s bad.” Since he has several heart stents and other medical issues, statements like that make my heart sink. But – it wasn’t about him. He told me that he had received a phone call about our oldest grandson (soon to be 18); the caller – supposedly a police officer – said that our grandson was in jail.The ‘officer’ further explained that our grandson was a passenger in a car that was stopped and found to contain two bags of cocaine. Then the ‘officer’ put a person on the phone who was sobbing and asking for help, saying: “Please don’t tell my Dad.” The ‘officer’ then stated that bail would be $4000. He asked for debit card information; Grandpa explained that I had the card so he would have to wait until I got home. The ‘officer’ said he would call back.

Just a note of explanation here: Grandpa does not hear well; he really couldn’t understand the sobbing person. At that point, he just knew that his grandson might be in trouble. And, just as many other grandparents, he wanted to help his grandson.

Once I got Grandpa to take a breath and calm down, I explained that our grandson was not home. He was with his mother, visiting various colleges who have offered him scholarships. I knew that because I had been messaging with his Dad, our youngest son, earlier that morning. Also, it is very unlikely that he would have anything to do with drugs. While anything is possible, it would be TOTALLY out of character for him.

At that point, Grandpa calmed down. Later he felt a little embarrassed that he didn’t realize that it was a scam call right away. He should not be embarrassed, though. Scammers count on your immediate reaction to protect your grandchildren. This scammer even had the nerve to call back and ask if he had been able to get the $4000. At that point, of course, Grandpa knew it was a scam. He indicated that he had the money and would be bringing it to the jail. The caller said he could just wire transfer the money. When Grandpa responded that he want to pick up his grandson, he knew ‘the jig was up’ and the scammer hung up.

In the meantime, Lena and I finished our shopping and went to check out. The bill came to a little over — $4000!! Not really – the clerk had been a mistake and entered it wrong. There was that $4000 number again!!  Lena looked at me and said: “I think we better go home, Grandma. We are jinxed today.”

Unfortunately, there are many people who think it is okay to prey on grandparents, counting on the fact that they will do whatever they can to protect their grandchildren. They have no concern for how traumatic this can be – especially for grandparents with serious medical issues. These scammers are the lowest of low …  (people who have no moral standards and lack any personal qualities).

Thanks for reading! I hope  you will return. 

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