HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- An elderly couple is out $6,000 after being targeted by scammers who impersonated their grandson, claiming to be in jail after a car accident.
Their son-in-law, Gerard Garza, said the scammers were so bold, they came to pick up the money in person and asked for cash a second time.
Garza couldn't help but get emotional thinking about what happened on March 10 to his father and mother-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. Garcia.
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He asked ABC13 not to share the couple's first names, as they were too upset to speak on-camera.
Family members said a scammer called the couple from a spoofed number around 11:18 a.m., claiming to be their grandson.
The caller said he hit a pregnant woman in a severe accident and would be sent to jail unless he presented $3,000 for an attorney.
"The perpetrator indicated that he was in trouble and needed money. He was crying on the phone and speaking incoherently. He got my mother-in-law to actually give him the name of one of her grandchildren by making her guess who it was that was calling," Garza said. "He begged them not to notify anybody."
Mr. Garcia withdrew $3,000 in cash from the bank. When he couldn't drive any farther to meet with the scammers at a designated location, he asked them to come pick up the money at his house, and they did.
The scammers were so brazen that they called back a second time around 2:30 p.m. to ask for more money and succeeded. This time, they told Mr. Garcia there was surveillance video showing the accident wasn't their fault, but they needed another $3,000 to make bail.
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The rest of the family didn't know something was wrong until Mr. Garcia called to check in on his actual grandson a few days later and realized things didn't add up.
"They are devastated. I mean, it's an embarrassing situation. It's very humiliating to have people take advantage of them, especially in this fashion. It's a serious amount of money for elderly people, and it's unfair," Garza said.
Garza admitted that he's let the scam that victimized his family get to him, especially with all the hard work his father-in-law has put in.
"When they are your parents, it becomes a very personal matter. That's why I'm emotional about it. That's why I get upset. My father-in-law is a very hard-working man, and to this day, he still gets up and helps his neighbor cut the grass."
The family shares their story, hoping to warn others about what could happen to their vulnerable family members.
"Always remember to ask important questions and consult with someone else. Ask them inquisitive questions like 'what's your date of birth?' or 'what's your mother's maiden name?'" Garza said.
The victims filed a report with Houston police, but no arrests have been made.
Their niece created a GoFundMe page to help the couple try and recoup some of the money they've lost.
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