When Blaine resident Trudy Hall answered her phone early last week and heard a male voice on the other end asking for help from his grandmother, she thought something might actually be wrong.
Hall has 14 grandchildren, so this call did not seem out of the ordinary at first. What made this one stand out in Hall’s mind, though, was that the caller only referred to himself as Hall’s “favorite grandson.”
The caller told Hall he was in Mexico and needed some money to get back home. At this point, Hall knew something didn’t add up – he said Mexico, but her caller I.D. showed a number from Toronto. After Hall asked again for his name, the unidentified man hung up.
A few minutes later, the same man called back again telling Hall it was her favorite grandson. Hall played along for a bit and asked, “Which one? I have lots of favorites.”
This time, Hall heard someone in the background coaching the man on the phone. Hall told the man on the phone that she thought she was being scammed, and immediately heard a voice whisper “hang up, hang up!” and then the click of the phone in its cradle.
Hall called the police to report this attempted scam but was informed the police could not do anything unless the scammers had actually extracted money from Hall. She said the police were understanding, though, and were glad to hear she didn’t fall for it.
“I just thought someone should know about it,” Hall said.
Blaine police administrative manager Lisa Moeller said these sorts of calls are fairly common but police have not seen any major recent increases.
Moeller said the police cannot take any action unless someone has lost money as the result of one of these calls, but she did caution against giving any financial information to strangers over the phone or through any other medium.