ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- 87-year-old Shirley Sherling was in the kitchen making lunch when the phone rang last Friday. She heard an unfamiliar voice claiming to be her nephew needing $2,000 for bond money because he was in a Mexican jail.
"I was very shook up. Very shook up. I hated for anything to be happening to my nephew. And if he was in a jam, I wanted to help him out if it was legitimate,” Sherling said.
The Better Business Bureau calls these scams that target the elderly "Granny Scams," and says there have been several complaints recently. "
You hear about them coming and picking up little old ladies and taking them to the bank and milking them out of their life savings. But you don't think it's going to happen to you," said Sherling. Luckily for Sherling , another nephew was there to help get to the bottom of the call which it turns out came from Canada.
"As it turned out, he was ok. And that was the basics to get her back, because with her heart monitor we were afraid this was really going to set off a problem. But it didn't. Everything worked out to the best,” said her nephew, Steven Sheik. The BBB tells us this type of scam first surfaced in the Stateline around 2007, and often comes back around the time kids go off to college and just before the holidays.
If you get a call like this, don't get caught up in the emotion. Assume it is a scam until it can be proved otherwise and contact police or the Better Business Bureau if necessary.