‘Grandma scam’ cost Alpharetta woman $17,000

A 79-year-old Alpharetta woman said she is out $17,000 in an apparent scam.

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A 79-year-old Alpharetta woman said she is out $17,000 in an apparent scam.

An Alpharetta woman is out $17,000 after apparently falling for what police call the “grandma scam.”

The 79-year-old said it all began last week with a phone call from someone she thought was her grandson, Channel 2 Action News reported.

“This young voice with no accent said to me, ‘This is your oldest grandson, can you talk to me?’” said the woman, identified only as Ellen.

“He said, ‘I only have one phone call. I'm in jail.’”

When she asked what happened, he said he rear-ended somebody and had been drinking.

She agreed to help.

She said a “very, very articulate person” got on the call and said he was the public defender and to mail $8,000 cash to an address in Florida.

She did.

The next day, another call came, seeking money for medical expenses for the person he had hit, Channel 2 reported.

Again, she responded with money.

“I did call his father and said, ‘Have you heard from him?’” the woman said. “He said, ‘Yeah, I've been talking to him all weekend.’”

This type of scam typically targets unsuspecting seniors, police said.

"There are certain red flags that people should look for,” police spokesman Howard Miller told Channel 2.

"If something doesn't sound right, follow up with your family members and make sure the situation is true to what's being told."

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