Help Get Carol's Retirement Back

This past Friday my Grandmother, Carol Register, was scammed out of a huge chunk of her retirement savings by some heartless con men. My goal is to help show her that there are people out there like her, who want to do the right thing for someone else, and to help her recoup some of the money that was taken from her.

I got a worried and panicked call from my Grandma on Friday afternoon. As soon as I answered she asked if I was okay and then asked where I was. When I told her I was fine and was just getting home from work she sounded relieved as she said "Oh thank God. I've just been scammed." Most people wouldn't be relieved to find out they were just conned, but most people aren't Carol. Someone called her that morning pretending to be me. They had just enough personal information to make it sound believable. The guy pretending to be me said that I had taken a trip to Miami but got into a bad car accident and broke my nose and the woman in the other car I hit was in the hospital. They said I was in jail, and that I needed her help to work with my lawyer and bail bondsman because I only had one phone call as I was arrested because I was on my phone in the car. Then this guy told her to please not tell my parents because I was embarassed and didn't want anyone else to know what happened. A few minutes later she gets a call from a "bail bondsman" to help get me out. They said the woman in the car that I hit was 5 months pregnant and in the hospital with injuries so they were pressing charges and my bail was set at $7,200.

Let me pause this story right here to explain to anyone who doesn't know that my Grandmother lives on her own, hasn't worked in years, survives off of social security, and is living off what little is left in savings from my late Grandfather's retirement. She lives on an extremely fixed income, and this 7,200 amount was nearly half of what she had left in the bank to survive on for the rest of her life.

Knowing all of that, she was still still so worried about her family that she agreed to put her money up to help "post my bail". They gave her very detailed instructions on how the money could be sent to them. They had her go to the bank, pull the money from her account, and deposit it into another account that the police were not able to trace or reverse the transactions from.

The story would be bad enough if it were to end there. But these heartless excuses for people called her back a few hours later. Around 3pm that same day she got a call from someone who said they were my lawyer. They told my grandmother that the woman from the car crash lost her baby at the hospital and that I was now being charged with vehicular manslaughter and other murder charges. They told her that I was now not being released from jail because my bail had been raised due to the new charges and that I needed another $6,800 to post bail. I hate to even imagine how my grandma felt in that moment, thinking that I was sitting in a jail cell with a broken nose, bleeding from an accident, dealing with finding out that I was being charged with the murder of an unborn baby and that a woman was now having to cope with losing her baby as well. What sick mind comes up with such a terrible elaborate story to tell someone in order to steal their money?

I know this is getting long to read, so I'll circle it back now. At this moment my grandmother tells this fake lawyer that she needs time to figure something out. Out of desperation, or luck, she decided to call me just to see if I had my phone with me. This is when she gets relieved to find out none of it was real. She was more worried about me being in jail, and some baby that never even really existed didn't die, than she was worried about her money. She called the police at that point, and the "lawyer" actually called her back while the cop was there and talked to him. This guy still tried to keep his story up even while talking to the police, until eventually he hung up. Although she filed a report and spoke to the bank, there's really not much anyone can do, and the money can't be returned. So if any of you are able, please consider making a donation to help build back her retirement savings. She would never ask for help, because that's the kind of selfless and caring person she is, so I'm asking on her behalf. And even if you don't have the means to donate, please, any of you with parents or grandparents out there, share this story to help make sure this doesn't happen to them or anyone else.


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Jason Winter 
Jacksonville, FL
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