Letters to the Editor

Grandparents, beware

I was interested in Jessica King’s article about grandparents in Ramona being scammed out of large sums of money. Several months ago, I received a call from my “grandson” needing money to get out of jail because he’d been in an accident. The caller addressed me as grandma and gave his name as that of our grandson. (I’ll use James as his name in this letter).

I asked lots of questions and the caller said I could talk to the District Attorney in the small town where “James” lives. In fact,  he would put me on line with the D.A. Oops, the D.A. had just left, but he would have him call me back.

I know a fellow who works in the courthouse there. So I called him. He didn’t recognize the name of the D.A., but he would check to see if James was in their jail. I called our grandson and asked if he had just called me and needed money to get out of jail because he had been in an accident. “No grandma, I’m at work!”

I have told this story to friends and have heard of similar scam calls. A couple of weeks ago I received another call from James. He needed money to return home from Mexico where he‘d attended the wedding of a friend and didn’t have enough money to get back home. “Really,“ I said, “you don’t sound like James.” The phone went dead!

I was surprised  at how much the caller knew about us — our grandson’s name, his hometown, our last name, which is not the same last name as James has. It’s very disconcerting to realize our private information is no longer private. I didn’t think to call the Crime Prevention Officer after the first call. I just talked with her today (Barbara Wallace at 760-788-2425) and she wants to hear from any of us when we are the object of a crime.

My generation doesn’t expect people to scam us, but, I guess crooks know that grandparents are a soft touch! Beware!

Nancy Harding

Ramona

   
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