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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Scammers, Grandmothers, and Canadian jails

A lot can happen when I head out for a run. Sometimes WAY more than I expect!

My mother and sister were scammed.  The heartstrings of a loving Grandmother and Aunt pulled and preyed upon without shame. The story goes something like this.

8:30am call to land line of unsuspecting Grandmother- "Grandma (a name she's NEVER been called by any of her 5 grandchildren EVER) I need help, I'm in a jail in Manitoba Canada."

8:35am sleepy and confused Grandmother-"Is this you Frederick (name changed to protect the innocent)"

8:36am coniving and convincing scammer-"Yes it is, and I just need $3000 wired to me to get me out of jail for taking "illegal substances" across the border.  Don't tell my parents, I'll tell them when I get home."

8:40am sleepy, confused and now concerned Grandmother-"oh my word, please tell me where to send it"

8:41am coniving and convincing and celebrating scammer now begins the process of telling exactly how and where to take the cash only money and wire the funds- with instructions to send it to Lima Peru.....ummm didn't he say Canadian jail?

Well meaning and soft hearted Grandmother decides to contact soft hearted Aunt and they proceed to set in motion the wiring of the "bond money" to get said criminal out of jail.

Red Flags waving in their faces held nothing on the compassion and concern of two woman trying to help their family. Level headed Uncle sees the $$$$ flying out the door and the reality that someone might have known the "offender" had been in Canada since he usually resides south of the Mason Dixon line makes a wise decision to call his dad(I'm still running). This call sets a series of confusing events in motion including not being able to reach said criminal and a lock down on the campus he attends. Thankfully when it all panned out, no money was sent and child was located without incident.

Several lessons learned here:
-NEVER wire money without contacting parents and knowing all details.
-After some reflection my son decided calling "Grandma" might be his best option if ever needed.
-Families need both soft hearted AND level headed members!
-Life is always easier to tackle when I start my day with a run.

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