Jupiter man says he lost $4,000 to a clever scam

JUPITER, Fla. - An elderly Jupiter man thought he was helping his family, when he was really being scammed out of thousands of dollars.

When 84-year-old Donald Diot's phone rang Friday afternoon, he thought it was a call for help.

"I thought I was speaking to my grandson," Diot said.

Diot said the caller claimed to be his oldest grandson. They said they were in jail and needed bond money.

According to Diot the caller said, "I'll pay you back as soon as I get out. I'm very embarrassed. Please don't talk to anybody about this."

Diot says another man also got on the phone, claiming to be an officer from the jail with very specific instructions on how to send bail money to his grandson.

Diot says the caller instructed him to go to a CVS Pharmacy and buy $4,000 worth of Money Pak gift cards. Diot said he bought eight $500 gift cards.

Diot scratched the numbers off of the back and gave them to the caller as instructed, not realizing he was giving a scammer quick access to all of the cash.

Diot said he did everything the scammer said. "Don't say anything to anybody because your grandson doesn't want anyone to know about this…. tell them it's gifts for your children."

It wasn't until after Diot gave away the numbers that he realized something was suspicious.

"Shortly thereafter, my grandson called me. I said, 'Mikey you're supposed to be in jail,' " Diot said.

Diot says the scammer took advantage of his willingness to do anything to help family. "I was so worried about my grandson being in jail and trying to get him out."

Diot hopes someone will learn from his experience and hang up if they get a similar call.

Diot's family is also hoping stores that sell the Money Pak cards will be more watchful for suspicious purchases, since the cards can be easy access for scammers.

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