An elderly Johnston County woman lost a large sum of money in the “Grandparent Scam.” Authorities are investigating the incident but it is unlikely the victim will ever see her money again.
Friday morning, the 83 year-old victim said she received a telephone call at her Benson home from a man claiming her granddaughter had been arrested. The man instructed the victim to call another telephone number of an attorney who would be able to tell her what to do.
When the woman called the person posing as an attorney, he instructed the victim she needed to send $4,500 in prepaid Amazon and iTune gift cards to secure her granddaughters release from jail.
The victim obtained the gift cards and soon received another phone call from the suspect who obtained the card numbers and her money.
The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office has assigned a detective to the case.
A recent estimate suggests scams cost senior citizens $3 billion each year in the US. The phone scams are often run outside the US. They often buy the victims’ personal information online, targeting people 65 and older. Many of the scams go unreported by the victims who may be too embarrassed to report they were tricked.