Machesney Park man loses $18,000 to scammers

MACHESNEY PARK, Ill. (WIFR) -- It's a phone call we hope we never get, but unfortunately one, too many people fall victim to. A 90-year-old man says he lost $18,000 over three days, after scammers said his grandson was allegedly involved in an accident.

Marvin Ostenson says he drained his life savings and took out two cash advances on two separate credit cards to pay what though would clear his grandson's record, after the scammers told him his grandson was headed to jail following an alcohol-related crash.

He was told to send the money through the mail to an address in South Carolina, where his grandson was allegedly being held.

Ostenson says the callers told him he would receive all of his money back a few days later.

Ostenson now says he wishes he called his grandson sooner, before he fell victim to the scam.

"Don't never, never say that you're going to help someone unless you call them first", says Ostenson. "They can talk you into anything".

Ostenson says he spoke with police in South Carolina, as well as with the credit union he got the money from. He was told, because he took the money out of willingly took out the money, he was not covered under fraud protection.