Long Island grandmother outwits suspected scammer, watches his arrest

LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — Jean is nobody’s fool.

The 73-year-old Long Island grandmother, who asked WLNY to identify her only by her first name, knew that the man who called her Thursday claiming to be her grandson was not, in fact, her kin.

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The fact that the caller claimed to be calling from jail certainly didn’t sit well with her. When she received a second call a short while later from an individual claiming to be an attorney and asking for $8,000 to cover her “grandson’s” bail, Jean placed a call of her own to the Nassau County Police Department, WABC reported.

According to the TV station, officers were interviewing Jean when a third man called claiming to be a bail bondsman, who just happened to be in the neighborhood and was willing to make a house call for her “grandson’s” bail.

The former 911 operator told WLNY that she knew the calls were bogus from the beginning because the person calling her “grandma” claimed to have been arrested for driving under the influence, but she doesn’t have any grandsons of driving age.

“I knew he was a real scammer. I just knew he wasn’t going to scam me,” Jean told the TV station.

According to WABC, officers instructed Jean to follow along with the scam as it unfolded, so she handed over a cashless envelope to the supposed bail bondsman, and then her doorbell camera captured his arrest in her front yard.

WLNY identified the suspect as 28-year-old Joshua Estrella Gomez, who has been charged with third-degree attempted grand larceny.

“Speak to your families. Speak to your neighbors. Visit those that are vulnerable. Let them know, don’t listen to these scams,” Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. “These individuals sit at home and have nothing else to do but think of a way to take advantage of our elderly.”