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Grandmother scammed out of $5,000

Posted at 12:14 PM, Nov 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-11-14 05:37:23-05

INDIANAPOLIS — An 88-year-old grandmother was scammed out of thousands of dollars, so she's sharing her story to try and keep somebody else from being victimized.

The woman said she was too embarrassed to go on-camera or be identified. She was home last week when the phone rang. The caller identified himself as her great-grandson calling from jail.

"You know, you feel like an idiot," she said. "I wasn't thinking."

He said he needed money for bail, and that she should go to Home Depot and get $5,000 in gift cards. So that's what she did, charging the money to her VISA. 

A clerk at the Home Depot said this is the third similar incident in a few weeks.

The Federal Trade Commission has a warning — gift cards are the No. 1 payment method for imposter scams.

If somebody calls with urgent news or a convincing story, pressuring you to pay them by buying a gift card, stop. It's likely a scam. That's a lesson the grandmother learned the hard way.

"I'm not gonna answer the phone probably very often unless I'm absolutely sure that I know who it is," she said. 

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