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Nashua-BoireFieldAirport;41.0;;2017-02-20 15:05:08
Thursday, January 17, 2013

My dad got one of those "grandparent scam" calls pretending that my daughter was in jail, but didn't fall for it

My 90-year-old father got one of those "grandparent scam" calls that pretend to be from a relative who's in jail in a foreign country and needs $2,200 (in this case) to get out. We've written at The Telegraph about locals falling for these scams; they're so common that the State Department has a warning online (here).

Dad said several men were involved, passing the phone around pretending to be various lawyers for the American embassy in Peru. A girl even came on the phone and sounded enough like his granddaughter to be feasible. He got suspicious anyway and they finally gave up.

The impressive thing - or depressing, if you're a privacy advocate - is that these losers knew he had an adult granddaughter named Rachel. My dad does not have much of an online presence where such information can be scarfed; no social media accounts or anything like that, so it's not immediately obvious where it might have been obtained.

Maybe Scott McNealey was right back in 1999: We do have zero privacy!