It’s one of many scams sweeping the country targeting senior citizens, extorting thousands of dollars and sometimes even more.
A 92-year-old victim who at first kept silent now says he’s hoping to prevent this from happening to someone else.
Peter Rosiak is as sharp as they come, but when he got the call from someone he thought was his grandson, he says he didn’t think twice about sending money.
Now he’s offering some advice for others to avoid being scammed.
“I was gullible is the way I see it,” he says.
He was recently scammed out of several thousand dollars after callers pretending to be his grandson said he needed to be bailed out of jail after driving drunk and causing an accident.
Rosiak says he spoke to someone he thought was his grandson.
“The guy who was supposedly imitating my grandson,” Rosiak says. “He said I got three stitches in my mouth because of the accident and I can’t talk very well. I allowed for that and it angers me now.”
Rosiak, who spent months in a Nazi prison during World War II, believes he let his emotions get the best of him and says he bought gift cards from a CVS near his home in Sterling Heights and then sent thousands of dollars to someone he thought was an attorney.
Rosiak thinks a lot about how this could have been avoided.
“I should have called them too, but I was trying to help him, to keep it quiet, because he asked me don’t tell my parents,” he says.
As far as the crooks who stole his money in what he considers an embarrassing situation, he’s hoping to help prevent other senior citizens from being scammed and says he’s also frustrated with how little can be done about it.
“I don’t fault him, but I feel the law should be stronger,” he says.
As far as what police can do, Rosiak says n he was told there is almost nothing that can be done.
His advice - get more information from the caller and, if you have to, call your family from another phone to verify the claims.
The victims we’ve interviewed all say these department stores admit they are aware of these scams and need to be more vigilant when a senior citizens walks in to buy thousands of dollars in gift cards - by asking a few questions about what they’re doing.