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Money Drain: $3,500 Scammed out of Elderly Woman by Man Pretending to be her Nephew

ABC News San Francisco posted a story of a new scam that hit an elderly woman for $3,500 by a man pretending to be her nephew.

The phone call came out of the blue, and when she answered, Beverly Joe heard a frightened voice.

“My nephew said, ‘I wasn’t drunk, but they threw us all three of us into the pokey and they want $3,500 bail,'” said Joe.

The man on the phone said he was Joe’s nephew, attending a wedding in the Dominican Republic with two friends, when they got into a car crash and were tossed in jail.

“I said, ‘You sound funny Jeffrey, why do you sound like that?’ He said, ‘It’s because my nose is broken from the car crash,'” said Joe.

The man pleaded with Joe not to tell anyone what happened, but could she please wire him $3,500 for his bail.

“He didn’t want his parents to know, so I could understand that,” said Joe.

She is in her 80s and getting around is difficult, but she got a friend to drive her to the bank, then wired $3,500 to the Dominican Republic.

Lesson Learned:
I hate to say it, but society goes more and more into the direction of having to verify everything before trusting people. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, but it is unfortunate. At the same time, I’m always an advocate of the principle to not lend money to family or friends. Give money, sure, but when you loan money you are opening yourself up to frustration and hurt. I’ve given money to people in need before, and people have loaned me money before. I’ve paid most of them back, and continue to work to pay the remaining few back as well. But I would still not recommend loaning money to family. And I certainly would never bail family out of jail. You’re on your own there.

It’s very disheartening to see elderly taken advantage of. It’s one of the reasons I feel it’s our responsibility as their children and grandchildren to look out for them as much as we can.

Amount Flushed Down the Money Drain: $3,500

About Crystal Groves, Google+

Crystal Groves is a farmer, web developer, musician, blogger, and personal finance enthusiast from the back hills of Maryland and Pennsylvania. She started Money Drain as a project to encourage people interested in fixing their financial situation to share their stories and learn from the stories of others. We all make mistakes, but in order to change we have to make changes.

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