Skip to main content
Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
No. of Recommendations: 1
The voice said "Your grandson." Now I have no wives or children, so the number of grandsons I have is zero. But I asked, "What is your name?" and he said "Michael."

And if you had asked, "Is this Claude"? when he said, "Your grandson," he would suddenly be named Claude and respond like, "Yes, I am your grandson Claude."

Note how hard I tried to give the caller no information.

Generally, this scheme then continues with needing money for textbooks, or need bail money, etc., but in some form of untraceable and irrevocable securities (cash, gift card, etc.), and possibly a few weeks later with escalating needs.

A similar scam is someone mimicking an elderly grandparent or an elderly parent needing money, such as in a foreign country and needs emergency money to fly back to your country, again in the form of untraceable and irrevocable securities.

I have a friend, a professional musician, who travels a lot, including internationally. One day I got an e-mail with her correct e-mail address on it, saying she was in London, England, and that her money and passport were stolen, and could I please send her a lot of money. I liked her enough to do that BUT the day before, I knew she was in Chicago. It was remotely possible that she had been able to get to England by then. Fortunately, I knew a different e-mail address that she used, so I sent her an e-mail to the second one and she replied that her main e-mail address had been hacked, she did not need money, etc.

Even if she did need the money, I would not send her Western Union money, gift cards, or any of that. I would send the money to the U.S.Consulate and let them verify her ID somehow.
Print the post  


When Life Gives You Lemons
We all have had hardships and made poor decisions. The important thing is how we respond and grow. Read the story of a Fool who started from nothing, and looks to gain everything.
Contact Us
Contact Customer Service and other Fool departments here.
What was Your Dumbest Investment?
Share it with us -- and learn from others' stories of flubs.
Work for Fools?
Winner of the Washingtonian great places to work, and Glassdoor #1 Company to Work For 2015! Have access to all of TMF's online and email products for FREE, and be paid for your contributions to TMF! Click the link and start your Fool career.