OLATHE, Kan. - Carl Sadler of Olathe, Kan., thought he was helping a grandson in trouble south of the border. Turns out, Sadler unknowingly wired money to a scam artist.
Sadler recently got the phone call from someone claiming to be his grandson stuck in Mexico. The caller said he had been in a car accident and was facing jail time. The caller told Sadler to wire money.
The Olathe grandfather drove to a local grocery store and wired a thousand dollars. Then, the scam artist called back wanting more money. Sadler became wise to the ruse and the scam artist stopped calling.
The Federal Trade Commission reports 40,000 grandparent scams in 2010 alone.
Now Sadler gives advice to anyone who gets a similar call."If you can't tell me your name, I'm not talking to you," Sadler said.
Here are some basic recommendations from the FTC to follow if you ever get one of these phone calls:
- Resist the urge to act right away, no matter how drastic the story may be.
- Verify the person's identity. Ask them questions
- Check out the story with someone else in the family or friends.
- Don't wire money or send a check.
- Report the fraud with the FTC.