This post cannot wait! I just found out that Mr.4444's mom was scammed today via telephone! Here's what happened:
"Kyle" called her, crying. He said, "Grandma, I need your help! I've been in a car accident and am in big trouble--I hit a foreign diplomat, Grandma, and they say I need $4000 for bail. Can you help me? I don't want mom and dad to know. I really need your help."
He even put the "police officer" in charge of the scene on the telephone. The explained that because "Kyle" had hit a foreign diplomat, it was complicated. He gave her the information for where to send the money.
Of course, Grandma 4444 did what any loving grandma would do--She hurried to the bank to wire the money! Thankfully, on her way home from wiring the money, her "crap detector," as Mr.4444 calls it) went off, and she called the real Kyle, who told her that he had NOT been in an accident and had NOT called her.
She raced back to Western Union and was able to cancel the transaction. She will get all of her money back, though some of it will be tied up for a few weeks.
Later in the day, the "court" person called and said something about how confusing the process is and he tried again to get her to go back to the bank. She hung up without letting him finish.
I'm writing this to implore you to warn any grandma/grandpa you know who could fall victim to this. This is not some email chain letter; it really truly happened today to Grandma 4444. She is a very capable woman with a good head on her shoulders. Clearly, her emotions got in the way of her fully-functioning crap detector for a while. Thank heaven it shifted back into gear in time to cancel the transaction.
The scary thing is that I warned both grandmas about this very scam a couple of months ago. I had heard about it and knew they were both vulnerable to something like this. I guess Grandma 4444 wasn't listening when I was talking! (Damned Dancing with the Stars!)
P.S. As long as I'm on here, I'm going to tell you something else that is important and completely unrelated: Dawn, of Bee and Rose is having a Spooktactular Giveaway, and you know how much we love Halloween around here, so I'm entering! (You should, too!)