Crime & Courts

Grandma scammed out of about $7,000

An elderly eastern Lincoln County woman is out almost $7,000 after falling prey to the telephone scam known as the “Grandma, It’s Me!” scam, sheriff’s investigators said Thursday.

On July 3, deputies were dispatched to a home in the 2300 block of Stardust Court in connection with a fraud case.

The 81-year-old victim told officers she received a call July 1 from someone she thought was her grandson who is in the military and stationed in Germany.

Here’s what authorities said then happened:

The caller told the victim he’d been in a traffic wreck and needed money to get out of jail.

The caller turned the phone over to another person who said he was the grandson’s lawyer and his name was Larry Goodman. That person told the victim she needed to send $790 through Western Union to Santo Domingo to get her grandson out of jail. The woman followed the instructions and sent the money.

On July 2, the woman received another call from the person she thought was her grandson asking for $6,000 and she deposited that amount into a Bank of America account, investigators said.

That was followed by a request the next day for $20,000 more, which the victim said she did not have and couldn’t send.

The victim emailed her grandson, who replied that he had not been in a wreck, that he didn’t know what was going on and that she shouldn’t send more money. The woman then called the sheriff’s office.

“This incident serves as a reminder to beware of telephone scams,” Sheriff David Carpenter said in a statement Thursday. “Citizens should never blindly follow the directions of people who call them on the telephone. The scam targets elderly residents by people pretending to be a relative in distress.

“The best policy is to hang up on the caller and check on the relative,” Carpenter said.

Marusak: 704-358-5067;

Twitter: @jmarusak