Senior citizen swindled out of $17K in 'Grandparent Scam'

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Marion Mazur was the victim of the so-called "Grandparent Scam." (Source: 3TV) Marion Mazur was the victim of the so-called "Grandparent Scam." (Source: 3TV)
Mazur says before placing the $9,600 in a FedEx envelope as she was instructed to do, she had to put the money in between magazine pages. (Source: 3TV) Mazur says before placing the $9,600 in a FedEx envelope as she was instructed to do, she had to put the money in between magazine pages. (Source: 3TV)
The real Nick, Nick Mazur, found out his loving grandmother had been swindled when he spoke to her recently on the phone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The real Nick, Nick Mazur, found out his loving grandmother had been swindled when he spoke to her recently on the phone. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

Marion Mazur says when her phone rang recently, she had no idea she was about to become a victim of a scam.

"I picked up the phone and I hear crying and someone saying, 'Grandma, this is Nicholas. I'm in jail and they won't let me out until I send $9,600,'" she remembers the voice saying.

Mazur thought the caller on the other end was her grandson, Nicholas Mazur, who goes by Nick. And, the thought of Nick behind bars disturbed her. 

"I have never, ever heard anybody with a voice as close to Nick's as that one," she said.

“It sounded just like him?” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked her.

“Oh, a duplicate," she replied.

[RELATED: AZAG: Seven most common scams and schemes targeting seniors]

In reality, the caller was actually a scammer posing as Nick who told a fabricated story of being arrested out of state.

To help with his bail money, the 88-year-old grandmother was supposed to go to her bank, Bank of America, and withdraw $9,600 in cash. And she did.

"My first thought was I have to give him the money because what could they do to him?" she said.

Mazur says before placing the $9,600 in a FedEx envelope as she was instructed to do, she had to do something very unique with the cash. First, she was to put the money in between magazine pages. And, step two was to wrap the magazines with plastic wrap. This, of course, was to camouflage the cash so it would not be detected by inspectors.

"And, then I wrapped it in Saran wrap many, many times so it was very soft and mushy," she said.

[RELATED: Grandma scammed out of $13K in 'Grandparent Scam']

Mazur says she sent the FedEx envelope secretly stuffed with cash, but it wouldn't be the last time.

The con-man called the very next day and instructed this senior citizen to go to the bank, get more money, and do it all again.

By the time she was done, she would have sent close to $17,000 cash. Remember, she thought she was helping bond her grandson out of jail.

“This is ridiculous,” she remembers thinking at the time. But I did it anyway because they got Nick,” she said.

[RELATED: Scammers target Surprise grandparents]

The real Nick, Nick Mazur, found out his loving grandmother had been swindled when he spoke to her recently on the phone.

“She said, ‘Nicholas have you talked to the judge yet? Are you out?’ Something to that effect. I said, ‘Grandma I don't know what you're talking about,’" Nick said.

The family, as you can imagine, is extremely upset. They can't believe someone so callous would rip off this sweet woman to the tune of $17,000 and they want to warn other senior citizens out there not to fall for what is commonly referred to as the “Grandparent Scam.”

“That's a lot of money to you isn't it Marion? Are you going to be alright,” Harper asked her.

“We hope we will be. We hope we will be. With the grace of God," she said.

[RELATED: 'Grandparent Scam' continues to entrap unsuspecting seniors]

A criminal report has been filed with the Phoenix Police Department. However, the agency tells 3 On Your Side the case needs to be investigated by the Baltimore Police Department which is the city where the cash was sent. The family is now in the process of filing a report with them, but it’s unknown if Baltimore police will investigate it.

And finally, 3 On Your Side alerted the U.S Postal Inspection Service and sent them all the documentation they will need to look into the issue.

If there’s an update, 3 On Your Side will let you know.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

Click to learn more about Gary.

Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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