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Rip-Off Alert: 'Grandparents Scam' attempt ends on good note

Reported by: Marie Mortera
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Updated: 12/13/2012 7:00 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- One common move by crooks is called the "Grandparents Scam." It starts with phone calls claiming to be your grandchild in need of money for an emergency.

In tonight's Rip-Off Alert, we have a story where the good guys won.

"I got a phone call from someone who said he was my grandson, sounded exactly like him and said he was in Mexico and had some trouble and needed some money," said fraud victim Eleanor Reimer.

So, Reimer went to the post office with $5,800 in cash. She prepared an express mail envelope, and the postal worker at the counter gave her advice.

"He looked at me, ‘You make sure you call before you send this," she said.

Reimer tried to call her family but didn't get an answer. Because time -- she was told -- was of the essence, she sent the package.

"The victim was very sweet and worried about her grandson's well-being and making sure he got home safely," said U.S. Postal Inspector Michelle Brooks.

Turns out, it was all a scam. Hours later, Reimer learned her grandson was not in trouble.

“I felt like I was a real idiot when I found out,” she said.

She went to the police. U.S. postal inspectors used her tracking number and were able to intercept the package before delivery.

"We were glad to help her get the money back," Brooks said.

Reimer’s good fortune comes with a warning.

“Before you send any cash to anyone, make sure you verify the story,” Brooks said. “Assume it is a scam until you know better."
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