It's Saturday afternoon Not much going on. The phone rings. I answer and a voice says, Aunt Barbara, this is your favorite nephew. He said now if you don't know which one I won't be upset. The connection was bad so I, thinking he was calling from the USA, asked why he was calling on my house phone and not my Vonage line. "He" said he was in Mexico for a wedding and was in the process of driving to see me in San Miguel! I was astonished. He said he'd be here in a couple of hours. Okay...........
Then about forty-five minutes later the phone rings and it is my nephew "Gary" again. He has been in a car accident outside Leon and hit a BMW and the child in the car has gone to the hospital. The Federales are being okay but if he doesn't pay for the damages to the BMW he'll have to go to jail. He said he could get 6000 pesos off his ATM card but needed at least 3000 pesos from me, maybe more. He said he had a rental car but the insurance only covered him in Jalisco where he rented the car. But, he pronounced it with a J and not an H.
During all this he had me talk with a Mexican man and then an American man named Jimbo that said my nephew was in grave danger and he really hoped I could help him. I was beginning to get suspicious for a couple of reasons.
Right before the "nephew" called the second time, my real niece, his sister, in Illinois had just posted a message on Facebook that he was in Illinois visiting his parents, my sister and brother-in-law. So I sent her a message asking her if it were possible that Gary was in Mexico but didn't hear back from her..........
Then the third time my "nephew" called and said he HAD to get some money, I told him I'd call him back after I called a friend to see if they could lend me the money. He gave me a fictitious phone number. Then I called my sister in Illinois and sure enough, my nephew is there.
I ALMOST got scammed! I've read these stories before. And, yet, they were so smooth that they almost caught me. At the very beginning when he said "This is your favorite nephew", I of course supplied the name! All were English speaking with no hint of an accent.
Geez. At one point, they said, "Don't you have at least 3000 pesos?" I said, "NO, I live on social security. I'm not one of the rich people in San Miguel."
It's been about an hour since this whole thing started. Of course it's over now. But, I thought it worthy to share with you.
The bottom line is, of course, if you hear from a relative unexpectedly - It is probably NOT a relative!