Persistence pays off for Mathews resident who fell victim to ‘Grandparents Scam’

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jul 27, 2011 - 04:31 PM

North resident Alandus Ware was recently the victim of the "Grandparents Scam," and he cautions others not to fall for this or similar scams.

Ware said he got a call one morning in reference to his grandson, who lives in Florida with Ware’s son. The person who called was ostensibly a law enforcement officer who said that Ware’s grandson had flown to Canada to attend the funeral of a friend’s father and had somehow gotten in trouble there. He was supposedly in a prison holding cell on drug charges and needed $5,000 to pay a bail bondsman.

Ware wired the money via Western Union from the Mathews Food Lion to Harris County, Texas, reasoning that the Texas address was supplied because he thought wire transfers going out of the country must be routed through a U.S. office. But that wasn’t the end. The next morning, Ware got another call and was told that his grandson needed a lawyer, at a cost of $6,000. Thinking the caller was his grandson, Ware again sent the money.

"I was convinced it was him," said Ware.

The schemer didn’t stop there, however. He called again and told Ware that his car was impounded and it would take $2,500 to get it out. Ware sent money once more, but this time he became suspicious. If his grandson had flown to Canada on an airplane, why did he have a car impounded there?

Finally, Ware called his son in Florida, only to find out his grandson was there—not in Canada. Ware immediately went to the Mathews Sheriff’s Office to file a police report, and the case was assigned to Investigator Bill Riley.