February 18, 2009 It's heartbreaking and downright disgusting what people will do to get their hands on someone else's hard-earned money.
This week alone we heard the stories of two area women, one who was a most unfortunate victim of humanity at its lowest form.
Claiming to be a distant niece who was in trouble while on a business trip in Toronto, a caller scammed the woman—whom she referred to as 'grandma'—out of $1,000.
This scam and other variations— 'I need money to get out of jail,' 'I need money to have my car towed,' 'I need money to pay for medical treatment,' etc.—has unfortunately been successful. Blood is, after all, thicker than water. Decent, caring and trusting relatives always want to help out in an emergency, generally with no questions asked.
It's sad to have to worry about whether the emergency phone call from the niece or second cousin you haven't heard from in a while is legitimate or not, but if the relative in question is making a frantic request for cash, think twice—especially if the caller is a person you don't speak with very often and you can't rely on voice recognition. Ask for a phone number, say you'll call right back to take care of things. If the call is legit, this will be no problem, and caring, trusting grandmas, aunts, grandpas and uncles can help the relatives they care about.
Avoid the heartbreak of being taken advantage of for simply being caring and generous by disgusting individuals who will constantly sink to new lows to do so.