“Hi Grandma. How are you?” I recognized the voice of our teen-age grandson. It was the right time (6:00 p.m.), and the right occasion (Mike’s birthday). I jumped right in with his name and some small talk.
Then again, when I heard, “Hi Grandma, Howyadoin’?” when I picked up the phone at 10:00 a.m., I was immediately on guard. I gauged the voice to be that of a young man.
“I’m fine,” I said, giving myself a nano-second to think. My mind immediately scanned through the grandchildren and came up negative. The wrong age, the wrong time, the wrong voice. “Who is this?” I asked.
“It’s your oldest grandson,” he replied matter-of-factly with a smile in his voice.
“Doesn’t sound right,” I said. And with that, he hung up. (Do we still hang up? Or do we disconnect or power off or some other term?)
There’s a scam out there – we’ve known about it for years – that targets lonely elderly women. (I certainly don’t fit that profile, so I’m really kinda insulted that these calls occasionally find me.) The caller pretends to be your grandchild and takes a chance that you’ll jump to conclusions and feed him the info he needs, such as his name. If the scammer succeeds in getting your ear, he eventually asks for money – or sometimes other things, but we won’t go into that.
I’m sure it’s desirable not to linger on the line with these scammers, but I found myself thinking of things I wish I’d said.
“What! But we buried you yesterday. Ohhhhh --- I think I’m going to faint . . .” Thunk!
“I suppose you want more money. What did you do with the ten thousand I gave you last week?”
The first time I received one these scam calls was about ten years ago. A female trying to sound like a child said, “Hello Grandma?”
“I’m not your grandma,” I replied.
“How do you know?” she asked.
“My grandchildren are very young,” I explained, “and you aren’t a child.”
She swore at me as she hung up, but I wasn’t too upset. She had failed.
But, you know – I have to reserve a little place for caution. When Clint was in junior high, he had good news of some sort and Mike suggested he call Grandma Bennie.
“Hello, Grandma,” he began.
“I’m not your grandma,” she said – and hung up. KW