"Grandma scam" scars entire Oregon family

Posted: Monday, August 11, 2014 --- 8:49 p.m.

You don't have to lose money to be impacted by a scam, as one Oregon family learned.

It started when 83-year-old Nancy Kinson received a call from someone pretending to be her grandson, Bryce. The caller said, "Bryce" told Nancy he had been hurt in an accident, got a DUI and needed 1,900 dollars for bail.

"I was terrified, I'd do anything for my grandson and to think he'd been in an accident..." Nancy said.

Soon, she called her daughter-in-law, Elaine, and within minutes the entire family was in a panic, wondering if Bryce indeed was in trouble.

Multiple people tried to contact Bryce. Elaine even tried calling Dane County Jail. Eventually, family members tracked down Bryce at work, confirming it was all a scam.

"When I called Nancy to tell her it was a scam, she started crying... it was very emotional," Elaine said.

By the end, more than 10 people had been impacted by this scam, including Bryce.

"When they called him saying it was an emergency, he got shook up because he thought his elderly grandpa passed away," said Brad Kinson, Nancy's son and Bryce's father.

Now, this family hopes their experience will help protect other families from experiencing anything similar.

"It's scary. They're good at what they do so you just have to do what you can to protect your family," Brad said.

And even though the scam didn't cost Nancy money, it did cost her a sense of trust.

"I'm basically a pretty trusting person and something like that happens and you begin to wonder whether that's smart or not," she said.

The Kinsons said this scam was particularly intricate because it involved more than one person, with someone acting as "Bryce's" attorney.


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