Granny scam targets retired Naples couple, cost thousands
Photo: Video by fox4now.com
NAPLES, Fla. - A retired couple is sending out a strong warning after they were scammed for thousands of dollars.
"I answered the phone and from there it was like well -- a nightmare," said Eileen Hennessy, scam victim.
Hennessy said she got a call last Thursday and when she answered the phone she says she heard a familiar voice.
"I heard 'Hi grandma,' and it just sounded like my grandson Michael," said Hennessy.
Very quickly she says the phone call took a strange turn, Hennessy says her grandson told her that he was in a lot of trouble after he got into a car accident with a friend.
"When he got pulled over, police opened up the trunk and found three pounds of marijuana in the trunk," said Hennessy.
The man on the phone told the couple that he needed to be wired money to post bail.
The couple says another man got on the phone, identifying himself as the grandson's public defender and gave the couple specific information on how and where to wire money.
"They sorta explained the normal bond is about $10,000 and they were asking for $1,800 in cash," said Joe Hennessy, Eileen's husband.
The couple thought nothing of the request because they felt like they were getting a deal and acted quickly.
"What are we gonna do," asked Eileen, "so off we went to take more money out."
After sending the initial money wire of $1,800 they were told there were complications in the proceedings and they needed to send over more money.
The couple then went to Publix to use a Western Union inside, sending over an additional $3,600.
The couple says they were given instructions to wire money to Atlanta twice, and to Baltimore for the last transaction.
"He had an answer for everything," said Eileen, "he sounded so professional."
Eileen and Joe told Fox 4's Julian Glover that they never suspected a thing and had no clue they were being scammed until Eileen decided to try calling their grandson's cellphone later that night.
"I said Michael, where are you? -- I'm home -- I said you're home? -- Michael aren't you in jail?"
After Eileen got off the phone with her actual grandson and realized the whole thing was a scam, the couple called Collier County Sheriffs to report the crime.
Investigators are looking into the scam and working to get the couple their money back.
In all, the couple wired almost six thousand dollars including the money wires and transaction fees.