Scammers Bilk Old Folks, Posing as Grandchildren On Phone

A Senate special committee is paying attention to the growing problem of senior citizens being scammed out of money over the phone. INSIDE EDITION reports.

He's the victim of a shameful phone scam. An elderly gent, fleeced out of his money by a con man posing as his grandson.

"I answered a phone call that sent my life into a tailspin and conned me out of $7,000," he said.

The 81-year-old senior citizen testified before a Senate special committee investigating the growing problem.

"It became obvious that grandpa and grandma were victims of a scam," he testified.

Audio tapes reveal how the con artists operate.

Con man: "Hi, grandpa."

Grandfather: "Hi."

Con man: "Do you know who this is?"

Grandfather: "Randy?"

Con man: "Yeah."

Grandfather: "What's the matter?"

Con man: "I've been in a car wreck."

Orville and Dorothy Shanafelt thought they were talking to their grandson, Randy, and it sure sounded like he needed help.

Grandmother: "Were you hurt bad?"

Con man: "My ribs and my jaw. That's why I'm talking the way I am."

The con man convinced them to drive to Western Union and wire $550 that he said he needed to get his car out of the tow yard.

Con man: "Grandma, I don't want mom, or I don't want nobody to know."

Grandmother: "We won't tell your mother then."

Believe it or not, the caller was an inmate and he was actually calling from jail.

Luckily, all inmate phone calls are recorded and the scam was exposed.

Here's another con man targeting a little old lady:

Con man: "Hi, grandma."

Grandmother: "Who is this?"

Con man: "Your favorite grandson."

Grandmother: "Jerry?"

Con man: "Yes."

Grandmother: "What's the matter, dear?"

Con man: "Is there any way you can take a cab to the bank?"

Grandmother: "Go to the bank?"

Con man: "Yeah."

Grandmother: "It'll take me a little while because I use a walker."

Con man: "I know that you use a walker, grandma."

One con man described his technique for ripping off old folk, telling INSIDE EDITION, "You can make $10,000 a day sometimes, if you do it properly. Once you get them emotionally involved, they'll do anything for you, hopefully."