Louisville senior taken for thousands in 'grandparent scam'

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- 87 years old doesn't come without a lifetime of work, and Archie White was enjoying the relaxation of his golden years. That is until a recent phone call from someone he thought was his grandson, Ricky.

"[He] said he'd been involved in an accident and arrested for DUI, and that he needed to post bond by noon," White said.

The cost was $2,500, and White went into a bit of a panic. 

"We're not rich people," he said.

However, no grandfather wants his grandson to sit in jail. He checked his checking account. There was barely enough. 

A man claiming to be Ricky's lawyer told White to go to a Walmart, and wire the money. He did, it went through, and he got back on the phone a bit later to make sure his grandson was okay.

"He said, 'I haven't been involved in an accident,' so that's when I realized I had been ripped off," White said.

A narrative of what happened is now on file with the FBI, but it's hardly the first time a senior has fallen victim to this type of call.  

"Unfortunately the grandparent scam is something that happens nation wide, and for a lot of people. Sometimes they come out with just a few dollars, and sometimes it's thousands of dollars," Mindy Eaton, with the Better Business Bureau, said.

For White, it's lesson learned, but not before a few more words for the scammers.

"You've done the worst thing you can do to old people. I hope God takes his retribution on you," White said.

Here are tips to keep in mind the next time your phone rings:

  • Don't feel rushed
  • Never give any information over the phone
  • Investigate the story
  • Avoid wiring money

If you have been scammed, report it to the BBB.

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