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Heartless scammers prey on loving Pierce County grandparents for almost $50,000

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PIERCE COUNTY — It’s a warning that every grandparent needs to know about — thieves are preying on their kind hearts and love for their grandkids to try to steal their money.

It happened to one Pierce County couple, but thanks to Pierce County detectives, they did get some of their money returned this week.

$2,000 in cash: That’s all Lester and Patricia Wambold got back after they fell for the so-called ‘Grandparent’s Scam’ for almost $50,000.

The thief called, pretending to be their grandson, saying he’d been busted for drugs and needed money to get out of jail.

“They’re convincing,” said Lester. “I heard that kid crying on the other end of the line, I don’t know.”

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The scammers persuaded the couple to buy thousands of dollars in iTunes cards and then tell them the numbers. Then, Lester and Patricia withdrew cash from the bank and sent it to an address in Michigan. The Wambold’s daughter, Jill Murphy, was in shock when she heard what happened to her loving parents. “That`s so crazy. Who sends money in the mail and the iTunes, but they were just so frightened and  just doing it out of pure love."

Detectives were able to intercept some of the money. Pierce County Sheriff Paul Pastor was there when detectives return it to the couple. “What I would call it is the victimization of good people. This victimizes people`s hearts. They care about their family members, they want to step up for their family members, something good about that and then they`re deeply bad people who take advantage of that.”

So remember, if a relative ever calls you crying, saying they're in jail for drugs and need money –DON’T fall for it!

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