This evening around 5pm a young girl came to the door and introduced herself as one of our neighbors within our gated community in Las Vegas. She gave us names of her grandparents, whom she said she lived with and also the names of some people who lived right next door to her. I didn't recognize the names, but I wouldn't because I don't know many of our neighbors. My mother might have recognized the names, had they been real and had she been home, however, she was at a community meeting at another house within our community.
I probably would have just told the girl "No thanks." but my father was here and decided to listen to what the girl had to say. She talked quite a bit, and now I believe this was to discourage any questions about herself. She said she was an honor student and had been asked to come to London to work at BBC but her grandmother, who had raised her and is very strict, said she had to earn the money herself. She knew her script well and asked if either of us had been to London and could we suggest places for her to visit while there.
My father agreed to purchase a magazine subscription for my mom at the cost of $48. She said when her grandmother got home from work tomorrow, she would bring his change with a thank you note. She talked about how a lot of people bought books from her and then just had them donated to the hospital where her grandmother works. She was trying very hard to 'fit in' with us, asking about my Dallas Cowboy shirt and saying her grandfather liked them too.
At some point, trying to nail down where she lived, I asked her for her house number and she couldn't remember it. This was a big red flag for me, but I didn't say anything. After she left, though, it kept bugging me and I finally realized why...one of the first things I taught both my children was their phone number and address in case they got lost or worse. If this girl, who appeared to be around 19, didn't know her address, she was lying.
At that point, I went online and "googled" the name of the company (from the receipt) and found out that this was a big scam going on in Albequerque. I got my twenty-two year old son and we went driving around our gated community and by sheer good luck found the girl walking, smoking and talking on her phone. I got out and said that I wanted my father's money back and her entire demeanor changed. She went from everyone's favorite granddaughter/niece/neighbor to the s***k crack head that lives on the corner.
I did get his money back and I called the police and the news channel. I also found out after I got back home that she had come to the house where my mother was and told the owner that she was MY father's granddaughter. The owner of the house said "Oh, come on in, your grandmother is here!" Needless to say, she changed that up real quick and got the hell out of there. I guess once she had the name of an actual resident, she decided to use it to her advantage. Luckily, it backfired.
I hope my reporting this can help save others from being scammed.