Yesterday, for the second time in weeks, I received a desperate phone call from one of our grandchildren. It was early morning and our grandson called to tell me he had been in a car wreck the night before and asked if I had heard about the accident. When I told him “no,” he  informed me he was injured, still at the hospital, and in a neck brace. He also said he needed some money and asked that I not tell his parents because he didn’t want to worry them.

In most cases both my wife and I would be glad to help out any of our grandchildren in any way we could. In this case, however, we don’t have a grandson old enough to drive. It was the classic “Hello. . . Grandpa (or Grandma)” scam.

After some research, I discovered this old scam has recently resurfaced in many new forms across the country. There is the “accident” version I received, the “I’m in jail in a foreign country” version, and many other new and creative versions.

In my case, I was on to it from the beginning and began to ask a few questions. The caller got upset and said he just “needed my help,” When I pushed it, I could hear a woman coaching him in the background. A few questions later and they hung up and probably moved to their next number and potential victim.

The sad fact is, these scams are taking advantage of seniors all across the country and bilking well-meaning folks out of thousands of dollars. The callers usually call in the early morning or late at night when most of us seniors are not at their best. Be aware.

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