SCAM ALERT: Scammers Use Lakewood Yeshiva Student Voice To Fool Grandmother

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I would like to alert the public about a horrible scam that unfortunately I fell prey to and lost $2700.00. I am aware of a lot of scams but sadly not this one and they got me good.

This past Friday I got a phone call. It was the voice of my grandson in Lakewood. He said grandma this is David (name changed). I went to a party, had an extra drink and drove home under the influence. This resulted in a car accident and was then arrested for alcohol levels 1% over the limit. I also broke my nose again. (Incidentally David had surgery this past summer to repair his broken nose.) Please don’t call my parents I don’t want them to know I need you to bail me out of jail.

The next thing I know he puts his “lawyer” on the phone and insists I pay $2700.00 to bail him out asap.

Being so close to shabbos I was a nervous wreck. He instructed me that this must remain a secret so no one will hurt my grandson David. I couldn’t call my daughter because my grandson begged me not to also and I didn’t want to cause further harm, at least until he got home.

He sent me on a wild goose chase all over Brooklyn for 3 hours to get enough Visa cards.

To make a long story short I was extremely physically, mentally and emotionally sick the whole shabbos.

On motzei shabbos I called my daughter and that’s when we realized I was scammed.

This scammer somehow got a hold of a voice that sounds exactly like my grandsons, knew where my grandson lives in NJ, knew he had nose surgery and knew my Phone number in Brooklyn.

My grandson lives and learns in Lakewood and knows absolutely no one who would do this.

The call was traced to Nova Scotia, Canada.

Some of you may laugh how I fell prey to this, but when it’s your grandsons voice it sounded very real and urgent you don’t really think straight.

Please beware of this scam and don’t fall prey like I did.

***YWN NOTES: Multiple articles have in the past been published by YWN regarding this scam and many others very similar to this.***

(Name withheld upon request)

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

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18 COMMENTS

  1. I feel terrible for you.

    But you do sound like a great grandmother for doing something like this but something like this can’t be hidden from parents so you should of called even if it means causing further damage parents have a right to know if their son is in jail especially if their calling you for money.

    Second this most be a Jew and someone close to your grandson just from what you wrote the person knew to much information about you and your grandson for something like this to be successful so your grandson should not be left off the hook because he doesn’t sound so innocent to me.

  2. The same thing happened to us. My husband got a call from a voice that sounded like our grandson and said he was in a car accident in the Dominican Republic and they asked for almost $1,000 to bail him out and get him on a plane home. Not being able to reach me, my husband went to Western Union to wire the money. When I finally came home, I said I believe this is a scam and called my grandson at school. He was in his dorm and was fine. B’H we were able to stop the wire transfer and got our money back. That same week I got a phone call saying Hi Grandma, after asking who this is I was told it’s your grandson. I immediately knew it wasn’t and said to the caller you’re not my grandson as my grandson does not call me Grandma.

  3. I feel sorry for you. My father got a similar call. But as soon as they said his grandson was drinking in a bar, he snickered to himself, and let them carry on, but knew that no grandson of his BARUCH HASHEM drinks in a bar!

  4. To sammy12.This actually happened to my mother. The police told my mother that the scammers actually get their info from social media and the scammers keep coming up with more clever ways to scam.My nephew is innocent 100%. Believe me we did our research.The scammer was traced to nova scotia.Bh over the last few days the bank was able to recover and return part of the money. My parents were definitely gonna call his parents just not that moment.You have to understand they are older people and not as quick thinking like you and me.Thats why older people fall prey more often.When they hear a grandson in trouble panic sets in especially when ur told be quiet cuz it will harm him thus forcing them to fork over money cuz they are so nervous.This is y I am posting this to alert people.

  5. I got a different scam late Friday afternoon I got a gmail on my phone saying my violin was mailed to me at my address in Georgia, Alabama, etc and it looked like Amazon and said to cancel click here etc….

    I felt that this was a scam but spent a few seconds checking my Amazon account on a computer and saw there was NO account activity. Good thing I did not try to enter my account info via the phone.

  6. very sorry to hear this is happening. maybe families should let their parents, grandparents know and be aware of these scams. also if they should get a call like this or others, right away ask personal questions to the “grandson” like, what are your uncles and aunts names. what are names of great grandparents, shuls the family went to. neighbors etc. make sure he can answer personal questions.

  7. If you go on line and put a persons name in you can find out who his relatives are and their age. Then you search for the phone number of the grandparent.
    It’s not a perfect science but it works a lot.
    All they had to do was ask their grandchild to say Shama and then you know it’s him.
    Like the gypsies who beg for money saying Shabbos Shabbos – I always ask for them to say something they should know and they always fail.

  8. Rule: if anyone calls you on the phone for any reason do not give payment by prepaid credit cards. Bail is paid in person by certified check or other guaranteed payment. No legitimate payment has to be done by prepaid card. Most pharmacies actually have warnings near the prepaid card section to let people know about such scams.

  9. At some point, you cannot protect people from their own stupidity. This type of scam has been covered by every TV and radio outlet, print news media, electronic news, utube, Facebook etc. Even the so called Chareidi magazines and news papers have warned people about exactly the type of fact pattern in the case here. If you want to throw money away, at least wait till next weekend when a new gaggle of shiluchim arrive from EY begging for money for various mosdos, many of which are legit. But why give you money to some ganof who will go out and spend it on chulent on Thursday night or even worse.

  10. A variation on this scam is for the caller/scammer to talk in a whisper, so when he says his/her name and talks, grandma cannot hear his/her actual voice.

    But I wonder: is there something in Torah that obligates a grandparent to involve a grandchild’s parents when the grandparent is told that the grandchild is in danger? If so, it would stop a lot of scams.

  11. Quote:
    when a new gaggle of shiluchim arrive from EY begging for money for various mosdos
    UnQuote.

    Such an horrific attitue towards Shiluchei Mitzvah and Aniiyim.
    Im sure they get a warm welcome at your house and sympathy toward their plight, irrelevant if the amount of $ you give.
    You and your family should never know what it means to go house to house in the freezing cold to pay your way. Treating the unfortunate with dignity and respect is the best guarantee to stay on the giver side, otherwise, tables turn quickly….

  12. Moral of the story, get off Social Media.

    This is the best advice given here.

    These scammers specifically take advantage of vulnerable people. No matter how much you educate/warn people about scams, some people, particularly elderly people, will have a very difficult time thinking straight when they get a phone call a few hours before shabbos from “their grandchild” who needs to be bailed out of jail before shabbos.

    The best way to avoid this is by not giving the scammers any personal info with which to work.

  13. To Mir:
    My point was that rather than throwing away money to some unknown scam artist purporting to be your eynikl who needs immediate help to post bail on a DUI arrest, save it for the shil=luchim where you have a better likelihood of actually helping someone. However, I also note that too many of what you refer to “Shiluchei Mitzvah” may not be much better than the scam artist on the phone so you really need to check and verify their credentials before giving them a dime. In today’s world its incredibly easy to forge a letter from some chashuve rav attesting to mosdos for which funds are being collected. Given that the internet provides considerably greater opportunities for verification and fraud detection, there will hopefully be a transition away from these shiluchim knocking on your door .

  14. Reply to Meno: Social media has nothing to do with the grandma scam. The only thing the scammers need is a phone number of a bubby, and the name of any of her grandchildren. And, given the small number of names that frum Jews use, they could just guess at the name and have to make 5-8 calls before they hit paydirt. And if the scammer is calling Crown Heights, “Mendel” will work every time. And Joel, Aharon and Zalman are good bets for Williamsburg.

  15. Reply to Huju:

    They knew the kid had previously broken his nose.

    In every story I’ve heard like this, the scammers had more info than just a name. There are more than enough people who make their info public on social media. The scammers wouldn’t waste their time if they only had a name.