Grandma asked to pay bail in gift cards - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Grandma asked to pay bail in gift cards

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One woman nearly loses thousands trying to help her granddaughter.

The Waterloo grandmother says she has had every scam call there is, but the one she got Tuesday morning was just too real.

 "I know it is my granddaughter. I would swear on a stack of bibles it was my granddaughter," said Dolores Keeling of Waterloo.

It was a normal day when Dolores got a call from her granddaughter in Florida.

"The policeman arrested us. She says, 'I am in jail.' and she is all choked up wanting to cry," said Dolores describing the call from someone pretending to be her granddaughter.

For nearly five minutes, Dolores listens to what she thought was her granddaughter tell her an elaborate story using specific details to Dolores, even calling herself Mandy instead of Amanda.

"You just have to ask a few questions and you know it is a scam, but this, talking to my granddaughter that long, they really really just about got me for $4,000," said Dolores.

The red flag on the scam, Best Buy. The man pretending to be the police sergeant handling her granddaughter's bail asked Dolores to get two, $2,000 Best Buy gift cards to pay the bail.

The man even telling Dolores exactly where her local store was, knowing her exact address, cell phone, and other personal information.

But before she bought the cards Dolores called the local police and her granddaughter.

"'Oh, hi grandma.' I said, 'What are you doing home? Aren't you in jail?' 'In jail?' she says." describes Dolores.

Knowing for sure her granddaughter was safe, Dolores gave the scammer a piece of mind when he called back for the payment.

"'Do you want to give me those gift card numbers?' I said, 'No!' He said, 'Why not?' I said, 'Because I think you are doing a damn scam on me.," said Dolores.

After she asked what the money was for, the man hung up on Dolores.

Police say phone numbers used by scammers are untraceable, so Dolores hopes others hear her story and don't fall for the scam.

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