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I'm too smart - or so I thought
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 4:50 PM
Joined: 4/2/2018
Posts: 7267

A few weeks ago I received a call from one of our grandsons, Matt. He sounded very shook up, and told me he was embarrassed by what he did. He was driving, with his phone on the passenger seat, when he got a text. He took his seat belt loose so he could reach the phone, then broadsided another car. He had a broken nose, and a few stitches on his lip. But the driver of the other car was a pregnant woman who was in the hospital. He asked me if I could bail him out of jail. I asked him how much he needed. He didn't know, but gave me the number of his lawyer to call. He asked me not to tell anyone in the family. His lawyer told me that yes, Matt was his client. Matt had so many charges against him that finding a bonding agency would be next to impossible. He asked me if I could bail him out. He needed seven thousand dollars. I told him I could not do that. He asked me if he could talk the judge down to half that amount, if I could do that. I told him I couldn't. I tried to call Matt several times, but I could never get through to him. They don't allow phones in jail.

This morning, Matt knocked on my door. The first thing I said when he walked in was "Did that woman lose her baby?" He said "What are you talking about?". Yeah, it wasn't him that called, but I know Matt's voice. Apparently they are using artificial intelligence to clone someone's voice now! Someone must have hacked his phone, because he had my number listed under "Grandpa". Nobody knows my number unless I give it to them. My number is listed under my SIL's account. I never thought I could be scammed, but if they would have asked for $1,000.00, they might have had a better chance.

Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 6:34 PM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 14816

Ed, something very similar happened to a friend about a year ago.  She received a call from someone who said it was her grandson and it sounded exactly like him.  He had been arrested and needed bail money.  She told him her husband wasn't home and he'd take care of it.  He gave her the name of the DA to call and the number.  When her husband got home he called and was just about to give him the banking information when she remembered the name the man gave her wasn't their current DA.  Her husband hung up but she said they received several calls immediately after but didn't answer.  They called the grandson and he had no idea what was going on.  So, guess the moral of the story is to check before we give money to anyone even though they sound like a relative.   Glad you didn't do what they wanted - pays to be careful nowadays.
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 9:09 PM
Joined: 8/22/2020
Posts: 3339

Ed i just heard about the vocal scams on the news this week. Very scary. I  don't know what you could do except try to reach the real person at a number you know. Amazing. Im glad they didn't get you.
Iris L.
Posted: Saturday, March 18, 2023 11:45 PM
Joined: 12/15/2011
Posts: 18707

I received a call from "Iris L" on the telephone in my own voice!  I was so shocked that I hung up immediately, so I don't know what the scam would have been.  I called the phone company, but they could not tell me how this could happen.  



Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 5:11 AM
Joined: 8/10/2016
Posts: 4154

 Ed I’m sorry this happened to you. 

Someone did my mom this way a few years back. I was there and thankfully she let me talk with him. He was pretending to be my moms grandson.  It really frustrated him because I kept repeating to him that I was going to call his mother. Oh no he didn’t want me to do that. After several times of that he hung up on me. I then called his mom, she called the school, they assured her he was at school and actually called him to come and talk to his mom. He couldn’t imagine why he was being called to office. 

Guess what we should take from this and remember is like anything that could be a scam is don’t deal with them. Hang up then contact the proper channels ourselves to get the real story. Going to try and remind others of this. Probably ought to remind each other once in awhile to keep it fresh in our minds. It kind of catches us off guard. 

I do my best not to respond to any email or text that I’m the least bit suspicious of. If I think any possibility it is honest I contact them directly and check. 

Joe C.
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 5:51 AM
Joined: 10/13/2019
Posts: 1068

Wow, These thieves are really getting sophisticated. Thanks for the heads up & glad they didn’t get your morning.
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 6:20 AM
Joined: 3/6/2017
Posts: 4154

Mayor Ed-

I am sorry about this. Thanks for the heads up. I just asked my DS to change his grandmother's name in his contacts. 

This is a newer iteration of an old scam. A friend's then 85 year old mom got relieved of $5000 after a phone call from a "grandson" about 10 years ago. The grandson wasn't even hacked, it was a cold-call. The grandson was away at college working his butt off and wasn't involved in any way, but his older boomer uncles still don't believe he was completely uninvolved.

My mom's neighbor made it as far as the local store that offers Western Union services where the clerk recognized the scam and insisted on calling the police. My mom got a call from her "grandson" claiming he'd been "partying with friends and arrested on trumped up charges and would pay her back". Her only grandson happened to be at the house planting bulbs for her or she might have fallen for it. 

I am constantly warning my mom about the latest scam-du-jour. I'm fortunate that out local police warn of these scams on their FB page. Ugh, last year she thought she'd won Publishers Clearing House. This month she's been mailing bills from her curbside box despite my warnings about check-washing. It's like playing wack-a-mole. 


Another Day
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 7:07 AM
Joined: 1/2/2023
Posts: 86

Ed1937 - Thank you for sharing and I'm so sorry that happened to you. We've had these calls, multiple variations of what you described. We also have a sense of humor about such things because they are so blatantly fraudulent. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but here's my thinking. We pay the phone bill each month so that we can make and receive calls with people whom we wish to converse with. So, if someone calls and they're up to no good I remind myself that we pay this bill and they then become my or my DH's entertainment. We have made it a game to see just how much of the caller's time we can waste. The top record to date is one hour seventeen minutes. In other words, the phone bill becomes, among other things an entertainment fee.
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 7:17 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4499

 Sadly that is a new thing and we all need to be very carful no matter how bad the news is when you get that call and they want money. The voice coping software is perfect and you cannot detect anything is wrong. They also need a small sample of words to take over for ones vice. Very very scary.

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 7:54 AM
Joined: 6/10/2018
Posts: 91

Ed..so happy you didn’t fall send the money…thanks for heads up as didn’t know about voice scams..wow!
Michael Ellenbogen
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 9:16 AM
Joined: 11/30/2011
Posts: 4499

I just had a great thought. Everyone in their family circle should create a code name that is used if something should happen to them. This way you all know it. Dont email or place it on any computer platform. If they are the real person they would know it.

Jo C.
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 10:52 AM
Joined: 12/9/2011
Posts: 13690

Over the last year, this has happened to several people I know. One con is that the Loved One is in jail and needs to be bailed out; another was from a "grandson" who was stuck in Mexico and could not get home . . . this one almost fooled the elderly grandmother.  Being in jail out of country was another.

One grandmother being on the fence and concerned was smart enough to ask the "grandson" the name of his dog (he did not have one) and what his cousins names were . . . the con artist hung up.

That must have been a stunner for you to receive a call to yourself in your own voice, Iris.  That one would have me wondering about my sanity for a second or two. 

The artifically cloned voice is a new one to me. Time for me to remind our family once again to NOT fall into this, even our younger family members who are aunts and uncles have received fake calls in the past.


Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 10:59 AM
Joined: 12/18/2011
Posts: 14816


I've made it a practice to not answer any phone call from a number I don't recognize.  I figure if it's something important they'll leave a message.  The con artists are getting smarter and smarter so we have to be more careful.  Older people tend to be polite and are hesitant to hang up on people and they take advantage of that.

Iris, I bet that was creepy to hear your own voice calling you.

mommyandme (m&m)
Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 12:10 PM
Joined: 2/16/2020
Posts: 973

I wish I didn’t know this, but you should be able to look for Inmate Information or Booking Information online by name at the county jail where they are, especially if bail had already been set.  That would keep your LOs secret from family members if the person calling was legitimate.  I imagine some who get scammed are not technology savvy so that trick could be moot.   My immediate family has always had a secret password, started when my kids were school age in case someone other than the obvious had to pick them up.   Now that we’re an extended family too, should probably update users.  Thanks Michael.  

Thanks for sharing Ed! 

Posted: Sunday, March 19, 2023 2:08 PM
Joined: 2/1/2018
Posts: 1121

Wow, Ed, that was surely a pre-planned, thoughtfully crafted scam you almost fell for!  Even providing a number for you to call to legitimize the whole plot.  It makes it really hard to know what’s legit these days and harder still to know when to give aid.  

Yesterday, my granddaughter was with her mom at Walmart when a “poor lady” approached them and asked for money to buy eggs and bread for her hungry children (she had the items in her hands).  My granddaughter reported that “Mommy was rude; she told the poor lady to come with her to the checkout and she would pay for the poor lady’s eggs and bread. The poor lady said a bad word and put the bread and eggs down and walked away.”  I said, “Allie, that lady didn’t want eggs and bread; she just wanted money for drugs or something bad.” “Well, how about that?  That’s exactly what mom said!”  How sad that we even have to teach young kids to be wary of being helpful and kind.  

Posted: Monday, March 20, 2023 2:32 AM
Joined: 8/10/2016
Posts: 4154

The above is a very common scam.  Lady approached me with a child in a parking lot and asked for $5 fir gas money several years ago.  Questioned in my mind, whether she was really needing gas money, or as you said, money for bad things. Told her to meet me up at the gas station and I would buy gas for her, planned on filling her tank. She never met me up at the gas station.
White Crane
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2023 7:12 AM
Joined: 2/27/2017
Posts: 631

Ed, I've had the fake phonecall from "grandchildren" a few times but never in their own voice!  That is scary.  My sister almost fell for a scam a couple of years ago and she is a smart cookie.  She was actually in the bank parking lot when she decided something didn't seem right.  We all need to be very careful.
Posted: Monday, March 20, 2023 10:07 AM
Joined: 12/4/2011
Posts: 21306

I had the same call!!!!!

When I said I would contact my attorney to handle the details the sham was over.

Posted: Thursday, March 23, 2023 9:58 PM
Joined: 2/3/2022
Posts: 17

Man I hope there is a place in hell for these thieves that perpetuate this sort of scam and other similar tactics praying upon valnerable people. My wife could easily fall victum this sort of scheme. Do others have defense ideas to protect our loved ones?
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