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SA man targeted in 'Grandparent' scam

Retired vet targeted by man claiming to be his grandson

SAN ANTONIO - A San Antonio man is trying to spread the word about a scam of which he was nearly a victim. 

Anthony Bailey said he got a call Wednesday from a man who claimed to be his grandson, and who sounded convincingly like him.

Bailey said the man told him he got into a DWI accident in Panama City, Panama, and needed Bailey to wire him some money to fix the rental car and avoid charges that would cause him to miss his flight.

Bailey initially believed the man and went as far as the Ace Cash Express store, where an employee told him he was the second person asking to wire nearly $4,000 to Panama City that day.

Bailey then contacted police, who advised him he was likely the target of a scam.

"This could have come from Houston, could have come from here. The phone number was blocked," said Bailey.

Bailey said he returned home and waited for the man to call back. When he did, Bailey asked him questions only his real grandson would know, and the man got frustrated and hung up.

Although Bailey called both police and the FBI, he said the both agencies told him they could not pursue the investigation because, since no money was actually exchanged, no crime had been committed.

The Office of the Attorney General has a few tips on how you can protect yourself or loved ones against the grandparent scam.

  • Do not fill in the blanks for the scammer.
  • If the caller says he or she is your grandchild, ask them "which one?" instead of replying with a name.
  • Confirm your grandchild's whereabouts.
  • Do not send money before verifying where your grandchild is.
  • Never give out your bank account number to anyone over the phone.

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