Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Gullible Grandma

Ann's writing challenge:

It is 10:30 at night on a warm May evening.  A woman has found a place to sit in a small architectural alcove on the outside of a church a block away from her residence.  She chose this spot not for any religious significance but because it faces a grassy area and the backs of other buildings.  In the darkness, it is unlikely anyone will see her there.  She weeps.

Why is she weeping?

She was so stupid. How had she not seen it for what it was? She couldn’t go home to face her husband yet; he’d be furious. She would sit outside in the darkness of the church alcove for a while longer. She looked out to the buildings in the distance, their lights burning brightly, and wiped the shredded Kleenex she gripped in her hand over her swollen eyes. She hadn’t been able to stop crying since she figured it out. Maybe if the door to the church was open she’d go inside and pray. She needed all the help she could get.

“Grandma, I’m in Canada and I’ve been arrested. I need you to wire money to me for bail. But please don’t tell Dad.”

The telephone connection crackled. “Grandma, will you help me?” His voice was high and panicked.

“What have you been arrested for, Josh?” Her only grandson lived with his dad across the country in Oregon. She hadn’t seen him since he started college two years ago.

“They said they found drugs in the trunk of my car when they stopped me for going too fast. Grandma, I don’t do drugs and it was just 5 miles over the speed limit. I wasn’t paying attention.”

She’d gone to the bank and wired $30,000 to her grandson in Canada. It was almost all they had in savings, but she had to help him. He promised she’d get it all back because the lawyer who was representing him told him he’d be able to get the charges dropped.

After she had wired the money, she had second thoughts. Something just didn’t feel right. She called her son in Oregon and Josh answered the phone. “Canada? No Grandma. I’m home this weekend from college staying with dad.”

She called the police and then Western Union. They took her information, but told her what she had already figured out. She’d given her money to a scam artist.

Now she had to face her husband to tell him she had wired almost all of their savings to someone in Canada, and it was gone forever.

She stood and walked to the door of the church. She’d go inside first and pray for some of that divine intervention.


  1. Ew . . . yeah, a friend at work was just telling me this happened to her neighbor.
    Great story, scary though.

  2. It's surprising how many times this scam has worked to the detriment of many hard working people. Hopefully the word will spread to make people aware of the steps they need to take before just wiring money to an unknown place. Thanks, Dana.

  3. Thanks for the wonderful but sad story. We all need to be reminded of the fact that there are lots of people out there who will stoop very low to get their hands on our money.

    I hope you're having a nice late summer.

  4. Wow, great story. Unfortunately it's happened way too many times to folks like this poor woman.

  5. Thanks Natasha. There was another story in our local paper today that warned this scam was back in our area.