MONCKS CORNER, SC (WCSC) - A Pineville woman says a telephone scam that involved someone impersonating her grandson cost her thousands of dollars.
"I never thought in this world that I could be scammed," the Berkeley County woman said. "But, they hit be where my heart strings were."
The woman, humiliated by the scam, didn't want her face shown or her name mentioned. But, she wanted her story told.
"The hurt and agony I went through that day," she said.
It started with the phone call from someone who sounded like her grandson.
"He was sobbing and crying," she said. The voice was masked by the tears.
The person on the other line, pretending to be her grandson, said he was in his friend's car when they were pulled over by police. The person said his friend had drugs in his vehicle.
"So, they arrested them both," she said.
The person then asked for $3,000 in iTunes cards to bail him out of jail. He said not to tell anyone, he was so embarrassed.
"The way I looked at it, he had one call and he called me," she said. "I was just so upset, like any grandmother would have been. My whole goal was to get him out of there."
She then drove to Food Lion where she was only allowed to buy $2,000 worth of iTunes cards. She gave the card number to person on the other line and went to Walgreens to get the other $1,000 in cards.
After she thought she'd paid her grandson's bail, she insisted on picking him up from jail.
"He said, 'We'll take him home,'" she said. "'You've been through enough today.' Well, he was right about that."
She then called her grandson only to find out the truth.
He hadn't been arrested. Instead, he'd been at work all day.
"We're seeing more and more of this," Moncks Corner Police Chief Rick Ollic said.
Ollic said the scammers are smart. He said they've hit nearly five people in the last month in Berkeley County, all with a similar story.
"They're preying on the most vulnerable," Ollic said. "If you get any type of phone call asking for bank information, that should be a red flag immediately."
"I just hope that nobody else will get sucked into this," the victim said. "I can't believe that I did."