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Bend couple nearly victims of 'grandparent scam'

By John Hendricks
Published On: Jan 15 2013 12:50:04 AM CST

NewsChannel 21's John Hendricks talks with an elderly Bend couple who nearly fell victim to the 'grandparent scam'

BEND, Ore -

An elderly couple in Bend avoided a costly scam after they become suspicious of who the caller really was.

Karolyn Eidson says she got a call from a man claiming to be her grandson.

"I answered the phone and it was a young man, very scared and he sounded like my grandson," Eidson said Monday.

The man on the phone told her that he had just been pulled over for speeding in Mexico, the cops found drugs in the car and everyone was headed to jail.

But she grew skeptical when a so-called police officer came on the line and asked her to send $3,700 by Western Union.

"He told me it was to go to Guyana," said Edison. "I thought, 'Oh, come on now -- this is getting a little too out of hand here.'"

The man on the phone said he would call back in an hour to see if she had sent the money. That's when she called police, who told her it was a scam.

As she was telling the story to police, she says they said word for word what the man on the phone had told her.

One tactic scammers use is to tell the person on the phone that they had been hit or have had oral surgery -- that's why their voice doesn't sound right.

Bend police say this scam isn't new, and offer these tips to protect you and your wallet.

* Is there a bizarre story why their voice doesn't sound like it should?

* Ask for a call back number so you can contact them.

* If the person claims to be a police officer, ask them to give you their name and the department they work for. If they refuse, chances are it's a scam. If they do give you the information, call that department and verify the story.

As scammers continue to prey on the elderly, Eidson had one thing to say to those who were after her money.

"Get a job -- not this one, not this kind," said Eidson. "Don't prey on older people. They have enough problems the way it is without being scammed."

In fact, the Eidsons said if they get another call from someone claiming to be their grandson in jail -- he just might have to stay there.

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