Mid-South grandfather avoids $10,000 scam

MEMPHIS, Tenn — A Mid-South grandfather was almost scammed out of $10,000.

The Better Business Bureau calls it the grandfather scam and says the crooks are getting sneakier and sneakier.

Now Glen Gerth wants to get the word out and warn others about the crime.

"I just almost lost it," said Gerth. "You know what I'm saying? That would've been a big loss for me."

Big is right. We're talking $9,750.

Earlier this week the 80-year-old says he got a call from a number starting with 011. The man on the phone identified himself as Gerth's grandson and said that he was in trouble.

He said my face is messed up, my nose is broke," said Gerth. "He said that's why he sounded different, and he said he was in jail for a DUI."

Gerth said the man also stated that he crashed his car into someone from out of town. Someone claiming to be an attorney called Gerth a short time later, and said that the incident could be quietly settled for $9,750.

The callers wanted Gerth to make a transfers via Wells Fargo, but everything had to be kept quiet.

"I wanted to help my grandson," said Gerth. "We're pretty tight."

Gerth was ready to transfer the cash at Wells Fargo, but a vigilant employee made him think twice about transferring such a lot large amount of money.

"She was asking me all these questions," said Gerth. "Did I know the person that I was depositing too, and were they going to re-emburse me for this."

So he decided to wait 24 hours and make some phone calls. That's when he discovered his grandson was totally fine.

Gerth said he was relieved when he discovered his grandson wasn't hurt at all.

"I was relieved that I didn't have to make that deposit."

Randy Hutchinson, President of the Better Business Bureau, says there have been cases where victims paid tens of thousands of dollars.

"If you're asked to pay with gift cards or by wiring money then just calm down and try to keep the person on the phone," said Hutchinson.