Comments for: Fake grandson scams Madison couple out of $2,100

Posted April 13, 2012, at 9:25 a.m.

MADISON | Madison police are warning residents to be careful after a local couple fell victim to common phone scam. Chief Barry Moores says the couple got a call this week from a man purporting to be their grandson, who said he was in court and was being asked …

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  • Anonymous

    The only thing keeping Western Union in business is these types of scams. Pathetic they never have any recourse

    • Anonymous

      Ive been to Western Union Offices in two foreign countries and have also used the services. Obviously controls can be overcome, especially if their is a person working on the inside for Western Union. The offices I have been in have cameras and armed policemen. Of course getting the police to take interest and investigate these types of crimes is not always easy.

  • Sue

    Honestly, I don’t really feel sorry for this couple. There is plenty of information passed  around about these scams that there should be a healthy skepticism when receiving one of these phone calls.

    It doesn’t matter they knew the grandson’s name. All one has to do is ask a question that only a real grandson would know the answer to. You don’t blindly trust, and besides, don’t they know the sound of their grandchild’s voice? I find it hard to believe that there wouldn’t be at least a little suspicion.

    • Anonymous

      Not everyone reads up on these, so maybe you should feel bad for the couple.  What if this happened to you, would you want us to feel bad for you

      • Sue

        Nope. Wouldn’t happen to me. I have a healthy skepticism. It’s why none of those Nigerian scammers have ever gotten the better of me. ;-)

        And it’s not only reading up on it, it’s on TV, radio, newspapers, magazines. Unless these people live as total hermits, totally unconnected from the world (which they can’t be if they have a phone), then it’s their own fault for being taken in.

        A good philosophy: “Trust, but verify.”

      • Anonymous

        I think many of us look at them as gullible and cannot understand how the could be so clueless. But there is another side to this. Some older folks do not have the concept that this type of thing can occur to them. Im not trying to be offensive or put anyone down but in some ways the way the react to thest types of incidents has not kept up with the times.

    •  I agree, before I shell out 2100 bucks I’d wanna make sure I know exactly who I’m talking to. Whoever is behind these scams really need to go out and get a life and a job and stop stealing from the Elderly that have probably worked hard all their lives to save for retirement. Kinda disappointing to read this when its been in the paper a lot for the past year. Hopefully they learned a lesson today. A very expensive lesson.

    • Exactly!!

  • Anonymous

    This scam has been going on for a long time now, and info on it has been constant, from newspapers, TV, radio, etc. –This happened to me a couple years ago, and when I asked certain questions and got weird answers, I knew it certainly wasen’t my grand-son. Plus, how did he get a pass-port over-nite to be in Canada??–And , the boy knows that I don’t have a lot of money, and asking me for it pretty much clued me in. And when asked not to tell my daughter cinched it, as we are all very close and he knows I would have called her immediately. —-Plus, I don’t trustmany people anyway  .–I will say, a good impression was made of his voice, but it didn’t work .

  • Anonymous

    I just dont understand how this happens. When I was first married I had to Western Union my wife money several times when she was in Argentina. After filling out the paperwork I then had to contact my wife with the Money Transfer Control Number she needed to get the money. Plus she had to show up at the Western Union office with an ID bearingthe exact name that I had filled out on the form.

    This fake grandson would have had to call back to get the Money Control Number or give contact information to the “grandparents”. He would have to have an ID bearing the name of the person he claimed to be. In this case that lawyer would have needed that information.

    It never seems to occur to people to check up if the grandson is actually out of the country? It never occurs to them that in the US a person in custody is going to be given one call and that a person in foreign custody is likely going to be able to call the embassy or consulate only? Have you ever heard of someone calling from jail, claiming to be under arrest, and yet has a lawyer that can get on the phone right at the same time.

    Perhaps some Western Union offices in foreign countries have an inside helper. It appears so in this case.

    • Anonymous

      I am aware in this case that the “grandson” was in court. But the concept of asking questions and some rational thinking still applies.

    •  With western union, if you choose to use a secret question and answer, you dont need to show ID, but you still have to have the MCTN

      • Anonymous

        The secret question and answer as well as the MTCN require another conversation to take place. I just find it hard to believe that during the time it takes to get to Western Union, get back home and contact the person in need of the money that it never occurs to them to inquire if it is the same person or not.

        •  Yep, well if they think its some type of emergency situation they probably dont think twice about it. But people should always use EXTREME caution if this situation ever happens. Make sure you know exactly who you’re talking to.

  • Anonymous

    Okay, that comedian is right.  You can’t fix stupid.

  • You are forgetting that they are preying on the elderly. These older folks are going from a normal everyday routine to being thrown into a call from a supposed family member with sheer panic in their voices.  They know exactly what to say when they ask questions, and what grandparent wouldn’t want to help a grandchild in need or in danger! Shame on Western Union for allowing an elderly couple to wire $$ out of the country without first talking with the couple. They are the ones who should know better, not the elderly victims!

  • Hey, my Nigerian Prince Grandson with Cancer is being detained in Mexico, but if you send him some money he will send you his inheritance.  Just as believeable

  • Anonymous

    I got a call last week from someone claiming I’d won $265,000 from Publishers Clearinghouse. The amount of information they knew about me was mind boggling. The ONLY things they didn’t know were bank account routing and account numbers and the first 5 digits of my Social Security number. They knew which credit cards I had that were active and which banks I had accounts with.
    This guy was a smooth talker and had an answer for everything I questioned him on. I recorded the entire conversation and when I told him I wouldn’t be sending any money he told me his “boss” would be contacting me… sure enough, 15 minutes later the boss called and said I was crazy not to send the $3000 “confirmation and insurance fee” to some Helen Pratt in Montana. I would be receiving the $265,000 the following day and to watch for the Prize Patrol Van.
    I turned all the info over to the Attorney General’s office.
    I can definitely see how the elderly could fall for this.

  • Anonymous

    That couple should have gone to the Belfast Hannaford. They stop those fishy Western Unions COLD!

  • Its getting harder to feel bad for these people as time goes by..

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