Calls From New York Try To Scam Westerville Grandparents Out Of Money

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Westerville police say three different women received phone calls from a man claiming to be their grandson, stuck in New York and in need of bail money.

All three of the calls came from a New York 917 area code.

10TV spoke with two of the women, who describe the caller as aggressive. Thankfully, neither one of them believed him.

As soon as Ruth Thompson picked up her phone, she was suspicious.

"He said ‘This is your grandson,’” said Ruth Thompson “And I said 'My what?'"

Thompson says the caller really tried to make her believe he was one of her grandsons.

"He said 'Kevin' and I said, 'Kevin? I don't have a Kevin. I've got everything else but a Kevin,'” said Thompson.

With family in New York City, Audrey White says when her phone rang; she thought it might be a relative.

"He said he was my oldest grandson. No name, just my oldest grandson, but he did mention my grandson's friend,” said White.

White said in seconds she knew this was likely a scam.

"My grandson doesn't have a New York City accent, so I hung up before he asked for money."

Police say with the third victim, the caller actually knew her grandson's name.

Investigators say be careful of someone who may appear to know your personal information.

“They think the information that the caller is giving them is to verify their identity, and it's really not,” said Cpl. Greg Franey with the City of Westerville Police Division “All of it can be found on the internet in some way."

Franey says websites like Spokeo, Whitepages even Facebook make it possible for people to gather enough information about you to make it appear they could be someone you know.

White says that’s why it’s important to check things out first.

"Just don't give out any money until you investigate further,” says White

Westerville police say all three women did the right thing by not giving out any personal information.

However, if you are the victim of a scam, and need help, you can contact the Ohio Attorney General's office.