Elderly woman nearly loses $4,000 after caller poses as grandson

Elderly woman nearly loses $4,000 after caller poses as grandson

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Ruth Strumke is 84 years old and said she was startled and confused when she recieved a call from someone claiming to be her grandson. She said the person on the phone knew her name and the names of her loved ones, and told her she had to go to Target and buy $4,000 worth of gift cards to help him.

"The voice said, 'Grandma?' And I said, 'Yes?' And I said, 'Who's this?' Because I didn't recognize which one of my grandsons it was. And they said this is Nick," said Ruth Strumke.

The voice then told Ruth her grandson was in a car accident and hit someone with his car. And now a lawyer needed money to keep him out of jail.

Ruth said she was told it would cost $4,000 to help her grandson. So she left the house and took the money out of the bank.

"He told me to go to Target and get gift cards. And don't tell anyone anything," she said.

At Target, an employee stopped her from making the purchase.

"She said, 'Believe me, you are the fourth person that this has happened to," she said. "I thanked this woman. I was just so thankful I said, 'You're my Christmas angel.'"

Ruth said she wants to share her story in the hopes that it will make others think twice if they receive a similar call.

"I see people on TV all the time who get scammed and I think what is wrong with these people. But this sounded so believable and all I could think was that if I didn't go through with this my grandson was going to go to jail," she said.

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