"Grandma, do you know who this is?
The 74-year-old Brown County woman thought she recognized the voice of her granddaughter, who had called to say she was in trouble in Mexico and needed money.
The woman wired $2,900 to a man who was portrayed as an attorney in Mexico representing her granddaughter — but the woman learned later she had been scammed.
According to a report by deputy Jim Cornelius:
Cornelius spoke with the woman at the Law Enforcement Center on Sept. 21. On Sept. 19, the woman told Cornelius, she received a phone call from a female claiming to be her granddaughter, who lives in West Virginia.
The "granddaughter" said she and a friend were in Mexico. They rented a car, had "too much to drink" and were involved in an auto accident. She said the U.S. Consulate had put her in contact with an attorney.
The "attorney" came on the phone and said the granddaughter needed $2,900 to cover damages and secure her release. The woman was instructed to send a MoneyGram to the attorney in Guadalajara, and the woman sent the MoneyGram from a local business.
The "granddaughter" called later and said the money had arrived and she was out of jail, but would have to stay in Mexico another night in order to go to court the next day. The "granddaughter" became evasive when the woman asked her questions.
The woman and other family members called the real granddaughter's cell phone, who said she was leaving work in West Virginia and knew nothing of the events in Mexico.
The fake granddaughter called yet again, and a family member told the caller they were on to her scam.