Scammer claims to be 98-year-old's grandson, swindles her out of $2,000 in gift cards

Just before Thanksgiving, Marjorie Todd got a call from someone claiming to be her grandson. He asked her to buy $2,000 worth of Target gift cards.

BROOMFIELD - At 98 years old, Marjorie Todd would have told you she'd never fall for one of those scams. 

"But this one time, I did," she said. 

A man pretending to be her grandson, Jason, called and said he needed money after he got into a car accident. 

He told her to go to Target and buy $2,000 worth of gift cards. She did and then had her caretaker read the man the numbers on them over the phone. 

Later that afternoon, she started to think that man might not have been Jason. 

“But I wasn't slick enough to hang up in time I guess," Todd said. 

This is known as the Grandparents Scam. Cary Johnson, Crime Prevention Director for the Jefferson and Gilpin County DA's office, says using gift cards to trick the elderly is becoming more popular. 

“One of the reasons crooks like loadable money cards, Target gift cards, iTunes cards is because they can get their money right away, get that information over the phone, scratch off the authorization code and give it to ‘em, and that money is someplace else in the world, it’s never going to come back," Johnson said.

Todd says her credit car company she used to buy the gift cards told her if they find this was fraud, they won't charge her. 

And she has a plan if it happens again. 

“The minute they mention money," she motions to hang up. "Ghost the phone," she said. 

For all fraud concerns, you can call the hotline through the Colorado Department of Human Services at 877-934-6361.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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