An East Oahu woman was swindled out of her retirement money after getting a frantic phone call from a man she thought was her grandson — and his attorney.
It all started early Tuesday morning, when Frances Wilson got a phone call from a man claiming to be Nicholas John Dubois.
He told her that her grandson was in jail after getting drunk and causing a horrible accident that sent a pregnant woman to the hospital.
Then, a man she believed was her grandson got on the phone — begging for bail money.
"He said, 'Grandma, I'm so sorry. I have really messed up. This is awful. Oh my God, grandma. I don't want mom and dad to know,'" said Wilson.
"He said, 'Can you help me? Will you help me?' I said of course I will Jake."
The man pretending to be the attorney then told Wilson that her grandson's bail was $15,000 and the bondsman would only accept cash.
Because it had to be sent by mail, he told her to tape $100 bills in between the pages of a magazine and overnight it through Fed Ex.
She told him she was in an assisted living home and couldn't do it and would need her daughter to help.
"He said, 'Oh is that Susan?' And I said yes. That's his aunt Susan. He said, 'Well, tell Susan I will be calling her and giving her instructions.'"
Wilson's daughter was skeptical, but after talking to her mom and later to the conman he convinced her, too — providing what seemed like logical reasons for everything he was asking them to do.
On Wednesday, the man called again, telling her the crash had caused the pregnant woman to miscarry and that her grandson was being held on new charges. This time, he wanted $25,000.
Her daughter mailed the second package. Afterward, her gut told her to give her nephew a call.
"She calls Jake's phone and he answers and says, 'Hi, Aunt Susan,'" Wilson said. "She said, 'Jake, where are you?' He said, 'I'm in Florida.'"
They alerted police. Now, Wilson is waiting to find out if Fed Ex can intercept the last package before it's delivered.
"Grandmas can't be treated like this," Wilson said. "They are preying on people who have fixed incomes. They are depriving them of a comfortable life. I think they are the scum of the earth."
Police say they are investigating six other cases that are likely related to this one.
Investigators say if you get a call like this always contact the jail to make sure the person is actually there.
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