Through the years, grabbing and reporting all sorts of stories, I have now come upon what I consider to be the ultimate con. And they were trying to play it on the Emperor for Life of Route 4, Piedmont. That is, Yours Truly, The Old Yarnspinner.
It was late afternoon on a Friday. The banks were closed, and I knew the upcoming July 4th holiday was going to mess up some folks who have asked the proper authorities to just go ahead and send my government check to the bank.
Fact is, when somebody else has got your money, even if they are simply holding it for you, they really don’t want to give it up. And odds are real good that when you do ask for it, there is going to be a gob of paperwork. They are gonna want to see your driver’s license and another photo ID even if y’all went to grammar school together and went to the beach together two or twelve times.
I was quietly sitting at my computer, reading about sad other folks’ lives are, when the telephone rang. It was not my area code, but the darling wife had gone visiting and I just felt like talking.
Usually if it’s a telemarketer I will gab for a few minutes and tell them I am a full time fortune teller, and it they promise never to call my home again, I will tell them something, a big secret, about themselves.
They usually agree. Then,I say, “You hate your job. You are in bad financial shape and just had to have some kind of job, and telemarketing was the only thing you could find.”
By then the caller has gone on to next on the list, but you and they both know you were exactly right.
This time, though, the caller said, “Pop?”
I didn’t catch the voice so I said something smart, like, “Who is this?”
The person said, “This is Tyler, your oldest grandson.” Since I was well aware who my oldest grandson is, I asked what was going on.
“I’m down here in Florida,’ he said. “I guess my voice sounds a little different is because I have a broken nose and some stitches across my lower lip.”
By then I was very concerned. “Did you say you are in Florida, what are you doing in Florida, how did you break your nose and got those stitches?”
“A good friend died, Pop, and we came down for he memorial service. I spoke, during the service and then we had a glass of wine where we gave a toast in his memory.”
“Then, when we were leaving they asked me to drive. I felt fine, so I did. We weren’t far from the church when a girl ran a red light and I hit her in the side. She is six months pregnant and they took us both to the hospital They sewed up my lip and packed my nose. They gave me a breathalyzer at the scene and told me I had failed by two points. And I just had one small cup of wine.”
“Now I’m in jail. Here, talk to my court appointed attorney.”
Some man got on the phone, told me who he was and then said, “We need to get Tyler out of here as soon as possible. I can have him out of here in two hours, but we need $1,900.00. Once he is out, no matter what happens he won’t be just sitting here without any friends waiting and waiting to see what happens with the woman’s pregnancy. In addition to DUI and (some sort of) personal injury, the charge could go as high as manslaughter. He could be here in Florida for years to come.
“We may be able to get him out for as little as $1,000,” his lawyer said.
I tried to explain that I had a little money in two banks, but the funds could not be juggled into one account for almost four days.
The lawyer then said time on the phone was running out and that he could call me back the next day, and, “please, for Tyler’s sake, do not tell anyone up there a single word.”
And before I could ask what town they were in, they hung up.
So for almost a week, I sat on this, not telling anyone anything. I tried calling his cell, but it was going straight to his voicemail.
Finally, after a week of worrying and not knowing what to do, my ultramodern cell phone rang. The caller ID said it was Tyler’s phone. I picked it up, and when Tyler spoke I bombarded him with questions.
“How’s your nose? How are you dealing with the stitches in your lip? How long did you stay in jail? Who helped you get out, how long have you been back in the area, and what was going to happen at the trial?
Tyler was astounded. He had no idea what I was talking about. He did not have a friend pass away. He had not been to Florida, and his nose had not been broken.
I am still delighted their con didn’t work.
Bryan Ramey is a Personal Injury Attorney who practices in the upstate of South Carolina. He graduated from The University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 27 years now. Bryan Ramey believes in representing the injured. Learn more about his experience by clicking here.