Elderly Nashville couple nearly falls victim to ‘grandparent’ scam | #datingscams | #lovescams

NASHVILLE, Tenn )WTVF) — A Nashville elderly couple found themselves at the center of a scary situation when they received a phone call that nearly cost them $16,000.

Jim and Frieda Banniza, aged 81 and 79, were targeted by a scammer last week posing as their adult grandson, leading them to believe he was in a serious accident and facing jail time.

The ordeal began when the Bannizas received a phone call last week from a person claiming to be from their grandson, Chase.

“He said ‘it is Chase, your grandson,’ and I said ‘it doesn’t sound like Chase.’ Well, he said that’s because I have a broken nose; I was in a car wreck this morning,” Frieda said.

Another voice got on the phone claiming to be Chase’s lawyer.

He said Chase was in car accident and could be in jail for a week if somebody doesn’t raise 20% of his $80,000 bond.

Desperate to help their grandson they took out $16,000 in cash and waited for the next call.

“He said, ‘can you get a gift bag and put it in a gift bag?'” Jim said. “And he said, ‘I’m trying to get a bondsman in y’alls area to come meet you somewhere.'”

The scammers even knew personal information about Chase’s parents, and knew they were out of the country.

Despite these details, the couple’s instincts eventually kicked in, and they reached out to their real grandson and the local authorities.

It soon became apparent that this was a scam.

According to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center, between January 2020 and June 2021, they received over 650 reports of potential grandparent scams. More than 90 individuals fell victim to these scams, resulting in a staggering loss of over $3.6 million.

“We felt terrible, like we’ve been used or something,” Frieda said.

As a precautionary measure, the FBI advises people to be careful when it comes to sharing information online, as scammers can exploit details posted on social media platforms and dating websites for targeting purposes.

The Banniza family’s close call serves as a warning for all to think twice when it comes to unexpected calls requesting financial assistance, even when the caller claims to be a loved one in dire need.

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