Pranks
Scammer arrives at grandma’s house unaware she’s planned sweet revenge
Jean got a call from a phone scammer one day, who was trying to trick her out of $8,000. He soon found out he'd messed with the wrong granny.
Irene Markianou
02.02.22

Scammers nowadays mostly use the internet to find and lure potential victims, but there are still those who use more old-fashioned ways to get what they want – money.

Pexels - Tara Winstead
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Pexels - Tara Winstead

Targetting mainly elderly citizens, fraudsters call them on the phone pretending to be their child or grandchild. They usually say they have been involved in accidents and ask for significant amounts of money in order to pay their lawyer or doctor.

It seems that older people are more vulnerable because they are rarely suspicious and because they would do anything for their family.

Unsplash - CDC
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Unsplash - CDC

“Our seniors are usually very trusting, polite, not likely to say no; and these are the exact characteristics these criminal organizations are looking for,” Suzanne Turner of FBI San Diego said.

One of the seniors that scammers have been targetting for a long time is Jean Ebbert, 73. Ebbert is a mother, a grandmother, a crossword aficionado, and a retired 911 dispatcher.

YouTube - NBC News
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YouTube - NBC News

Scammers have called her several times in the past, but she always hung up. This time, she decided to play along and see what happened.

On January 20, she received a call from a man sobbing. At first, she thought it was her son-in-law, “a big jokester”, but she soon realized it was a scammer’s job.

Unsplash - NordWood Themes
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Unsplash - NordWood Themes

She tried to remain calm and not show that she was suspicious or anything.

“I told him, ‘Oh my god, don’t call your mother, she’ll be mad! Let me handle this!’ So they thought I was falling for it,” she told LI Herald.

The scammers told her that her grandson had been involved in a drunken car accident, and asked for $8,000 in cash to pay for his bail.

Unsplash - Nathan Dumlao
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Unsplash - Nathan Dumlao

They also gave her a phone number, a “case number”, and a fake attorney’s name to make the whole thing sound more realistic.

Eventually, they arranged to meet at her house so she could give the “bail bondsman” an envelope with the requested money.

In the meantime, Ebbert was texting her son, and she also called the local police to make sure everything would work as she had planned.

YouTube - NBC News
Source:
YouTube - NBC News

Indeed, two officers arrived at her house, waiting for the scammer. Soon after that, a man arrived at her house and she met him at her front lawn and handed him the envelope, which had nothing but paper towels inside.

Was she scared? Yes, but she still went on with the plan.

YouTube - NBC News
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YouTube - NBC News

“I was wondering, what if he has a gun? What if police have to shoot him?” she recalled. “All this stuff runs through your head. I’m worried.”

But everything went well. Once the man had taken the envelope in his hands, the two officers rushed and tackled him.

The man, later identified as Joshua Estrella Gomez, of Mineola, was arrested and charged with third-degree attempted grand larceny. He’ll be appearing in court soon.

YouTube - NBC News
Source:
YouTube - NBC News

Talk about some sweet revenge!

Head over to the video below to hear the cool grandma talk about how she turned the tables on the “bad guy”.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

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By Irene Markianou
hi@sbly.com
Irene Markianou is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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