A Nicholasville woman says she was nearly the victim of a nation-wide phone scam targeting the elderly. The scammers pretend to be grandchildren on the phone.
76 year-old Pauline Benton often keeps in touch with her grandson, a police officer who lives out of state. Which is why it was strange, when she didn't recognize his voice on the line Tuesday morning.
"I asked, who is this? And he said, 'Don't you know your own grandson?'," said Benton.
The man calling from strange number said he was her grandson Garrett, and that he had a cold - so she believed him at first.
He said he'd taken a trip to Canada and was in trouble.
"He said, 'you can't tell my parents,'" said Benton, "'grandma I'm in jail."
The man even handed the phone over to someone else, who claimed to be the arresting officer, and said her 'grandson' needed $3,200 to get out of jail. He said Benton needed to pay by credit card.
"His little words and mannerisms just weren't Garrett," said Benton.
She told the man she needed some time to get the money, got off the phone, and called her grandson's number. Sure enough, he wasn't behind bars.
When Benton realized it was a scam, she immediately called authorities.
"When the Sheriff actually called the number back he was given no information and even was met with hostility," said Deputy Larry Oliver with the Jessamine County Sheriff's Department.
They believe it was part of a recent nation-wide phone scam, targeting the elderly for money.
"No grandparents want their child to spend any time in jail," said Deputy Oliver.
"We were absolutely nervous wrecks," said Benton.
Now she wants to save others from becoming victims.
"I don't want nobody to go through what we went through today," said Benton.
Authorities say the men used a pre-paid number they were not able to track. Neither Benton or authorities are sure how the men knew her grandson's name.
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