NEWS

Grandparents scam foiled by sharp Western Union clerk

10/04/2013 12:45 EDT | Updated 12/04/2013 05:12 EST
A quick-thinking employee at a Western Union money transfer office helped stop a Vancouver Island woman from getting scammed by a fraudster posing as her grandson.

Sharon Paquette received a phone call from a man claiming to be her grandson, saying he had been in a car accident, and he needed $2,300 fast because he was in a Montreal jail for drinking and driving.

But when Paquette rushed down to the the Western Union to send the money, she had mentioned to the clerk that the funds were heading to her grandson.

"After we sent the money I said darn grandkids anyway, they are always needing something."

"And she said, 'Stop right now, it's a scam!'"

"I said, no, it's not a scam."

"She said, 'It's a scam. This is a scam!'

"I said no, it's not, it's my grandson. He's in jail."

"She says, 'I'm stopping it.' So she did and I got my money back."  

Paquette says she tried to give the Western Union employee a tip, but was refused due to store policy.

Now she wants others to learn from her experience and is warning other grandparents who receive calls from people posing as relatives in need of help not to send the cash without double-checking who they really are.

Police have been issuing warnings about the so-called grandparents scam for several years now.

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