Fraud victim shares story, offers advice to other seniors - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Fraud victim shares story, offers advice to other seniors

Posted: Updated:

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio - A local senior citizen is speaking out after being scammed out of nearly $10,000.

The Ohio Attorney General's Office estimates 200 people have been victims of the grandparent scam in the last two years. 

Mary Bowald is one of those victims and she shared her story with 21 News at the Senior Fraud Forum in Austintown Thursday.

"I answered my phone one morning and a voice said, 'Hi grandma.'  I said. 'Hi Dillon, what's up," Bowald said.

But the voice on the other end was not Mary Bowald's grandson, the person was a scammer.

The con artist made up a story that Mary's grandson needed nearly $10,000 wired to the Cayman Islands to get out of jail and to not have it on his record or the news.

"Well the reason I fed into it was because I thought it was my grandson," Bowald said. "He sounded just like my grandson.  I didn't pursue it any further because I felt like I would be breaking his trust because I had told him I would not tell anybody."

Bowald isn't alone. Just in the last three weeks to a month, the Mahoning County Sheriff's Office reports there have been at least seven different types of scams perpetrated against seniors.

The schemes include false claims of having to pay fees to win lottery money, to get their next Social Security or Medicare check, or to protect their computer from a virus.

"The wire transfer is a key word for fraud or pre paid Visa or MasterCard, " said Manilath James, Consumer Educator with the Consumer Protection Center of the Ohio Attorney General's Office.  "They sometimes ask you to put money on the card and as soon as you give them the numbers they have immediate access to those funds."

Once the money leaves the country, officials said they can't get it back.  So officials and victims like Bowald are educating others on lessons learned.

Bowald advised people to be "more aware and ask more questions and just to think twice before you do something like this."

 

 

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

    Monday, May 28 2018 1:07 AM EDT2018-05-28 05:07:17 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File). FILE - In this Oct. 10, 2017, file photo, the Supreme Court in Washington is seen at sunset. A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through the courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the...
    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.More >>
    A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and that'll continue, no matter what the Supreme Court decides in the case of a baker who wouldn't create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple.More >>
  • Vintage denim: 125-year-old Levis sell for nearly $100K

    Vintage denim: 125-year-old Levis sell for nearly $100K

    Monday, May 28 2018 12:25 AM EDT2018-05-28 04:25:25 GMT
    (Daniel Buck Soules/Daniel Buck Auctions via AP). This undated photo provided by Daniel Buck Auctions, of Lisbon Falls, Maine, shows a portion of a pair of 125-year-old Levi Strauss & Co., denim blue jeans that sold for nearly $100,000 this in May ...(Daniel Buck Soules/Daniel Buck Auctions via AP). This undated photo provided by Daniel Buck Auctions, of Lisbon Falls, Maine, shows a portion of a pair of 125-year-old Levi Strauss & Co., denim blue jeans that sold for nearly $100,000 this in May ...
    Someone has paid a mint for some vintage denim in Maine.More >>
    Someone has paid a mint for some vintage denim in Maine.More >>
  • Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Amid anti-immigrant sentiment, some Spanish speakers wary

    Sunday, May 27 2018 5:27 PM EDT2018-05-27 21:27:56 GMT
    (AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...(AP Photo/Chris Carlson). Lilly Mucarsel, a native of Ecuador, poses for a picture in her office Friday, May 25, 2018, in Tustin, Calif. Mucarsel, 62, of Southern California finds herself reverting to English when she attends a baseball game or goes to...
    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.More >>
    The Trump administration's harsh rhetoric and tougher policies toward immigrants have made some Spanish speakers self-conscious about speaking other languages in public.More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms