MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A Moncks Corner couple was scammed out of $10,000 by a man who claimed to be their grandson.
Tony and Helen Jordan said their money nightmare began with a phone call.
"I said who is this? and he said it's your grandson," recalled Helen Jordan. "I said Dalton? He said yes, and I said that doesn't sound like you and he said that's why I'm calling, I've got a broken nose."
The grandson said he was calling from Barcelona, Spain and got into an accident in a rental car. He said he needed some cash to pay for the car repairs.
"We've got to pay the bills before we leave this country and the traveler's insurance will reimburse us," he told Helen.
The repair bill was $3,000, so Tony Jordan got the money from their bank account.
"He took it over to Piggly Wiggly and did a wire transfer to Barcelona, Spain," Helen said.
Then came another phone call.
"He said there's two pages to this auto repair and I need another $3,000," Helen recalled.
Tony Jordan wired the money to his grandson.
The grandson called again, this time asking for $2,800 to help pay his friend's hospital bill from the accident.
Helen's response? "I don't have that much money. I'll send you $2,500."
Then came one last call for another $1,800 to pay for the flight home. Their grandson said he missed his initial flight and there would be no refund.
Helen said she only had $400 in her account and can't send any more cash.
"I said the one promise I want from you is that you call me immediately when you get home."
Two days after they wired the money the Jordans called their grandson to make sure he had gotten home okay. It turns out that he never went to Spain in the first place. He told them he had just got off work from his job at a fast food restaurant.
The Jordans had been ripped off. The con artist posing as the grandson made sure they didn't call their grandson's parents before wiring the money.
"That's the number one thing he asked me to promise, please don't tell my parents because they'll be just worried to death," recalled Helen.
For this couple, it's a very expensive lesson learned. "as long as my grandson's alright I can accept it," said Tony Jordan.
The Berkeley County Sheriff's Office told the Jordans the scammers most likely got their phone number and their personal information, including their ages off the Internet.
Helen Jordan said a detective told her the con men figured they were grandparents and would pay some money to supposedly help their grandson.
The U.S. Secret Service is investigating.