Impersonator tricks elderly woman out of thousands

Posted at 11:28 PM, Mar 13, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-13 23:28:28-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Aroostine Kiehl was scammed out of nine grand, by someone claiming to be her grandson, who had been jailed in Mexico City.

"I felt like that if when I refused them then they were going to say call me back and say he's been kidnapped," Kiehl said.

The people preying on the 85-year-old grandmother had tapped her grandson's computer and phones, and had recorded their earlier conversations, even knowing she had lent him money the week before.

"His accent was perfect, the little idiosyncracies that he has in his voice were exactly his," Kiehl said.

Over two days last week Aroostine wired nine thousand dollars, 1,500 at a time.

Friday, the fake Nicholas called again, looking for more cash. But as she's on the phone with the scammer, her real grandson called her.

"My phone was beeping and I looked at the dial and it said Nicholas Kiehl, so he was calling back," Kiehl said.

She had called him the day before skeptical she was being scammed. Her first thought wasn't anger of being taken advantage of, but a maternal instinct kicked in, her grandson was safe.

"It's what women are made of," Kiehl said.

The loss of the money is a big hit to Aroostine, but she and her husband will make it by. The Western Union transfer receipts are horrible reminders of a predator that bled her for thousands.

"The only regret I have is that I would have liked to have given that to a couple of grandchildren who need the money," Kiehl said.