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Iowa City Grandma's Target of Scammers Protending to Be Grandchildren

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 01:16 PM CDT
CEDAR RAPIDS, IA (KGAN) -- We all know the ring from the telephone means that someone is calling but often times what we don't know is who's on the other end of the call.

"I answered the phone and this voice said hi grandma," says Carol Macon of Iowa City.

88-year-old Macon got a phone call she didn't expect.  

"Well grandma I'm in trouble he says, I borrowed a friends car and I got picked up and it had drugs in it and I wasn't aware of that and I don't have that much money on me," Macon said.

It turns out the caller was not her grandson Todd.

"The more I heard the more I felt it wasn't right," says Macon.

According to Iowa City Police, the scammed dubbed the "grandma scam" is widely popular across Iowa City especially in retirement communities.  

"They are coming from states away or countries away where we're not going to be able to track that and they know it and that's why they do it," says Sgt. Denise Brotherton.  

Police aren't exactly sure where or who the calls are coming from and it's not easy to track but one theory is the scammers are using to find out more information on their target. Carol ended up asking the scammer about his past and that caused him to hang up the phone. Police say she did the right thing.  

"All grandparents feel like they would do anything to help a grandchild; just beware of strange pleas," she said.

While police can't really capture the bad guys they say asking questions or just simply hanging up the phone is the best way to protect yourself.  

Iowa City Grandma's Target of Scammers Protending to Be Grandchildren

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