A few years before her death, my mom fell victim to the grandparent scam. She got a phone call from someone who said: “Grandma? Do you know who this is?” She guessed at a name of one of her grandkids. Now armed with a name, the scumbag on the other end of the phone set about impersonating my nephew and claimed to be in trouble in Mexico. He asked her to help him without alerting anyone else in the family. With the best of intentions, my mom ended up wiring more than $10,000 to the scammer before she realized she’d been swindled.
The scammer took advantage of her desire to help her family. It was an expensive lesson to learn just how dangerous these scams can be, especially when it comes to preying on elderly folks.
This week, staff reporter Kathleen Kunz exposes some of the scams happening in our community. I hope it goes a long way toward making sure these crooks don’t take advantage of more people.
Elsewhere in the book this week: Associate editor Jeff Gardner checks in on the last days of Kmart; arts writer Margaret Regan previews Ballet Tucson’s upcoming show; Cannabis 520 columnist Nick Meyers looks at how the Democratic presidential hopefuls are coming around on legalizing weed; unpaid intern Briannon Wilfong tells you all about the Tucson Hip Hop Festival; Chow writer Mark Whittaker tries the Italian food at Proof; movie critic Bob Grimm says Greta is a solid addition to the ol’ stalker genre; and there’s plenty more, so settle in and enjoy the feast we’ve prepared this week.
— Jim Nintzel
Hear Nintz talk about what’s happening in Tucson’s entertainment scene Wednesday mornings at 9:30 a.m. during The Frank Show on KLPX, 96.1 FM. Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 5 p.m. Sunday afternoons on KXCI, 91.3 FM.k