Grandparent scam heating back up in Charlotte area - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Grandparent scam heating back up in Charlotte area

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

The Attorney General's office says scam artists are preying on grandparents in North Carolina. They're calling unsuspecting senior citizens, pretending to be their grandchildren, and asking them to wire money. The most recent person to fall victim to the scam lives right here in Charlotte.

"They're preying on older people," urged Barbara Bagwell, who lives in a senior center on Park Road.

It was just about a week ago when Bagwell got the first call which came in at seven in the morning. 

"It sounded just like him," recalls Bagwell, talking about her youngest grandson Jake.

She says the person on the other end of the line called her grandma and told he'd been in a car accident. 

The person pretending to be Jake told Bagwell he needed to borrow $1400 and asked her not to tell his parents. Bagwell says she told him she could help but she needed to be paid back. 

Bagwell wired money to an account in Mexico City after she hung up the phone. 

Then she said Jake called back asking for more.

"He called me 12 times that day," said Bagwell.

Bagwell wired four payments of $1450 to man in Mexico City named Roger Blake. Then she got a call from her daughter who told her Jake hadn't been in a fender bender. Jake didn't even have his driver's permit yet.

"It sounded so much like my Jake," said Bagwell.

The next time she got a call, Bagwell got serious with the con-man on the other line.

"I said you are nothing but a big fraud. I said I'm going to report you to the police immediately so he hung up on me real quick," she recalled.

According to the North Carolina Attorney General's office, Bagwell became another victim of the so-called grandparent scam.

The scam is once again picking up steam in North Carolina. The goal of the scam is to take advantage of senior citizens and take their money.

Bagwell, like many others her age, didn't realize what was happening until she shelled out almost $6,000. 

The woman filed a police report but doesn't expect to seen her money again. She hopes what she told the con-artist right before they ended their conversation plays on his conscience. 

"I said I've lost money but you've lost more than that," said Bagwell. "You're going to lose your soul."

Since 2011, the AG's office has heard from more than 150 grandparents who have been conned by this scam. Combined, they have lost more than one million dollars.

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