THE NINE-THOUSAND DOLLAR BLOG
Over the phone I heard the excitement in my friend’s voice: “You saved someone’s life. I couldn’t wait to tell you.”
“Really?” Now she had me excited, too.
“Remember that blog you wrote about the scam you fell for? Or nearly fell for? And how you barely escaped losing a ton of money?”
“Four thousand dollars,” I said.
“Well, let me tell you about what happened to my daughter, Allison. An older man came into her bank and wanted to withdraw nine-thousand dollars. He seemed agitated and in a hurry. As bankers have been trained to do, Allison asked, ‘May I ask what the money is for?’”
Predictably, he said, “None of your business.’”
Suspecting he might be on the verge of trouble, Allison said, “Let me tell you a story. This happened to a friend of my mother’s.” And she related the details from the blog I’d sent out--about the phone call from a grandson: “This is your favorite grandson,” how, with that phrase, I honestly thought it was him.
How from then on, I was hooked. That I believed the young man’s tale about having done some light drinking (never mind that my grandson doesn’t drink), about his being in an auto accident with a car full of diplomats (meaning “diplomatic immunity”), then, my talk with his “lawyer” about averting a DUI—if I came up with $4000 bail money.
The rest involved gift cards at Target . . . and quickly thereafter, an appointment with my hairdresser, who said immediately, “I know how this is going to end.” With that I leaped out of the chair, called my husband, (who called the grandson), then made another fast call to Target—just in time to cancel the cards.
Allison’s customer, a retired attorney, listened avidly, then at last swallowed his pride and related his own story: a grandson calling from the wrong state (“I’m here for a friend’s funeral,”) a voice that didn’t sound quite deep enough, the talk with the grandson’s “attorney”, something about an accident in a Uber car, about marijuana in the car, and the need for an attorney to put up bail . . . which meant nine-thousand dollars—in cash.
At that, Allison said, “Let’s call your grandson,” and so they did, right there in the bank. “May I speak to him?” Allison asked, and the customer nodded. Of course none of the details given to the gentleman were true. With that, Allison turned the now-grateful customer over to her supervisor.
“Without your story,” my friend told me over the phone, “That man would have lost his nine-thousand dollars.” As it was, the customer, still shocked, left the bank.
But the tale isn’t over: An hour later, the gentleman returned—with three boxes of chocolates . . . for Allison, for the bank manager, and for another teller.
For me, the lovely result is that I’m now getting all the credit. But hey, I’ll take it. Whatever time I spent on that blog, it has suddenly become a nine-thousand-dollar effort . . . clearly, more than worth it.