'Grandparents Scam' hits Valley family

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SCOTTSDALE - Knick knacks around Peggy Parks' Scottsdale home show she is a grandmother showered with love, a love reciprocated for her family, particularly her grandson, Clifton, who as far she knew, was in some serious trouble when he called her last week.

"He said uh, do you have some time to spend with me this morning, I really need to talk to you," Peggy said.
Clifton said he'd been injured in a car crash in Canada, and was facing DWI charges.

He said he was calling from jail in Toronto, but strangely, the area code was out of Montreal. Even more suspicious -- he asked Peggy to wire $5,600 dollars to London.

The sooner, the better.

"So they said if you would send $5600 right away today they could let me go this afternoon,” Peggy continued. "I said sure, sure I'll send that money right away."

Hours later, Peggy walked away from the MoneyGram inside a Walmart store thinking she'd just rescued her grandson from jail.

That is, until she read a pamphlet she’d been given, warning people like her of a growing scam.

"And I started thinking, what have we done, you know, what have we done."

What they did was become the latest victim of the ‘Grandparents Scam,’ something the Better Business Bureau is warning Arizona grandparents about.

Here's how it typically works:

A grandparent receives a frantic phone call from a scammer, posing as a grandchild in trouble. He or she asks that they wire thousands of dollars for reasons including posting bail, repairing the grandchild's car, covering lawyer fees or even paying hospital bills.

Sounds familiar for Peggy Parks who says the reality she'd been had set in when she finally spoke to her real grandson on the phone.

"He felt so bad."

With thousands of dollars long gone, Peggy now wants to warn others of crooks looking to take advantage of a grandparent's love.

"This has made me so angry, and I feel so violated. I don't want any other grandparent, anybody else to go through what I've gone through for these last couple of days," she said.

The BBB suggests you ask a question only your grandchild will know if you're questioning whether it's really them or not.