When one gets to be my age, which is pushing 90, one finds little happening that might be of interest to anyone else. This is probably why I haven’t written a blog for several months now. But there are exceptions. So, I am posting this and hoping a few people might read my recent adventure and possibly benefit from it.

Two days ago my phone rang and a male voice said, “Grandpa?”

Now, I only have one grandchild but I haven’t heard from him in about 10 years. But I did ask, “Jesse?”

He answered by saying, “How many others are there who call you, ”Grandpa.”

So, I expressed some surprise but also mentioned being happy to hear from him.

He apologized if his voice sounded strange as he had been in an accident and there were two stitches in his lip and his nose was broken.

I asked how that happened and he replied, “You remember my friend Cliff, don’t you?”

I admitted I didn’t remember him but he went on to tell me Cliff was in Florida and getting married. He said, “He wanted me in the wedding party so he flew me down here. Last night was the wedding dinner and Cliff was pretty drunk so I drove him home. In front of us there was a woman driving a car and swerving. I think she was drunk but as I started to pass she jammed on the brakes and I ran  into the rear end of her car. The air bags on our car were activated which messed up my face.”

I said something like, “Wow.”

“The policeman checked me for being drunk and I walked the line all right but the meter showed me one point over the limit even though I had only had one glass of champagne. So, I spent the night in jail. My insurance company will take care of the damages but can’t get me the money for a couple of days. The judge says I need to have all the money to fix the woman's car before he lets me out of jail.”

Several times he interjected a plea that I not tell his parents because, "They will flip out.”

He went on, “I was hoping you might loan me the money so I can get out of jail and I’ll repay you tomorrow.”

I said, ‘Wait a second Jesse. I don’t have that kind of money. I doubt I could write a check for a hundred dollars right now.”

Just then we had a phone problem and the connection was lost. I noticed the call was from Tampa, Florida.

In spite of Jesse’s protestations, I did call his father in California. I asked if he knew were Jesse was and was told he was at the pool with his swimming coach, some 3,000 miles away from Florida.

It now is obvious that someone was working a scam on me or at least trying to. There actually was no way I was going to send him any money with that story but I did think it was clever the way the scam artist worked it. He never did actually say he was, “Jesse” nor did he even name his parents or their location. And, by starting out by saying, “Grandpa” or, I suppose, “Grandma,” he was assured of hitting someone elderly and quite a few of them aren’t as sharp as they used to be and a few lack good judgement.

I’m trying to get this out to as many people as I can and hope you might also pass it on. If enough people are aware of this rather smooth scam perhaps the man on the phone might have to get a job and earn his money just like everyone else.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 1, 2012