On the morning of Friday, August 27, 2010, my 79 year old mother received a phone call which started with a person saying, “Grandma? This is your favorite grandson.”

The caller claimed to be one of my nephews. He said that he had driven to Windsor, Canada with a friend from Gary, Indiana. He said that he was in jail because he had an accident and damaged a pole. He claimed that the Canadian police would release him from jail only after he paid $2800. He asked my mother to wire the money so that he could get out of jail. He asked my mother not to embarrass him by telling his parents.

My mother answered wisely. She told the imposter that the parents must be told. The imposter never called again to give the money wire instructions as he had promised.

This is a scam which is now being played on senior citizens all over America. I told my mother to report what had happened to the local police in our hometown of Griffith, Indiana. The police took the report and informed my mother that an elderly couple in Griffith had already been scammed into sending thousands of dollars to Mexico to help a grandson who was in jail there, according to the scam artist.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller has issued a public warning to senior citizens to avoid being tricked into sending money after getting phone calls from imposter grandchildren claiming that they are in trouble and need money due to an auto accident, overdue rent, or minor brush with the law. These are scams.

The attorney general’s office recommends asking the caller questions that only a family member could answer. That will screen the real grandchildren from the fake ones who are attempting a scam on the senior citizen.

If you live in Indiana, and you believe that you have been scammed, you can file a complaint with the Indiana Attorney General’s Consumer Protection division online at www.IndianaConsumer.com or by calling 1-800-382-5516. If you live in another state, report the scam or attempt to your local police and ask about contacting other agencies in your state so that you can help to alert others to a scam so that they are not victimized.

Note: Woodrow Wilcox helps senior citizens with Medicare related medical bill problems at Senior Care Insurance Services in Merrillville, Indiana.

© 2010 Woodrow Wilcox