GOLDEN - 9Wants to Know learned about a relatively new twist to the Grandparent Scam that has been known to cheat seniors out of thousands of dollars.
"That I fell for it really bothered me," Barbara McKeough said. "They get your mind on your family, so you believe everything they say."
In most cases reported by 9Wants to Know, the Grandparent Scam involves a caller claiming to be a desperate grandchild locked up abroad. The caller will claim they need money wired to them for bail.
In McKeough's case, the caller claimed to be an officer with the US Embassy in Mexico. The caller said her grandson was locked up in Mexico and that he needed money to get out of lock-up.
"He said, more than once, you do not tell anybody about this. That was his main line," McKeough said.
A second person then came on the phone claiming to be her grandson.
"He started to cry. He sounded just like my grandson, because once they mention a name, you focus on them and don't realize you're talking to stranger," McKeough said.
McKeough ended up believing the story and sent nearly $2,000 to the scam artists through Western Union.
Amy Nofziger, with the AARP, says it's very rare for victims to get back what they lost. Nofziger says the scam is hugely underreported and that the scam artists often find family information through obituaries and Facebook.
"It is very rare people can get their money back. Law enforcement does have luck sometimes, but more often than not, you're never going to see your money again," Nofziger said.
The AARP runs the ElderWatch program, which alerts seniors to watch out for scams that target the elderly.
If you or a loved one has been scammed, you can contact ElderWatch (http://hotline.aarpelderwatch.org/public/home.html) at 1-800-222-4444.
Have a comment or tip for investigative reporter Jeremy Jojola? Call him at 303-871-1425 or e-mail him
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