July 05, 2009

The phantom interview

  Grandmother Delaney receives a telephone call from her grandson, Eugene. He attends a college in the Midwest and expects to get his degree in December. In the meantime, the boy explains he has a golden opportunity to interview with an executive of one of the Fortune 500 companies in New York City.
  “I don’t have any real nice clothes to wear to the interview,” explains Eugene. “I need a nice business suit, and the plane fare costs more than I can afford with my allowance. But $1,200 should cover the cost of everything and I’m almost positive I’ll get the job.”
  Grandmother Delaney is impressed with her grandson’s maturity in gathering all this information together in such an organized manner. She sends the $1,200 to Eugene by a Western Union money order exactly as requested.
  Weeks pass and there’s no word from Eugene.  Grandmother Delaney calls his cell phone and leaves a message: “Eugene -- please call, I’m anxious to hear how you did on your interview with the man in New York.”
  A few hours later Eugene returns his Grandmother’s call. “What interview?” the boy asks.
  “The interview with the big shot in New York that you were sure was going to hire you!” Grandmother says.
  “I have no idea what you’re talking about, Grandmother,” says Eugene.
  At that moment Grandmother Delaney feels cold chills running up and down her spine. She knows she’d been duped. After calling the local cops and the campus police the old woman realizes she’s the victim of a scam.
  The original call from Eugene was not her grandson, although he sounded very much like him. Investigators familiar with the routine said her grandson and some of his buddies probably were overheard talking in a beer joint.
  Using Internet sources, the scammer was able to find the grandmother’s phone number and a little bit about the grandson. From a few scraps of information the scammer was able to built a promising -- although totally false -- tale of success for her grandson.
  Will Grandmother Delaney get her money back? Not very likely. The scammer, with her $1,200, is in the wind.

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