As this increasingly sinister charade unfolded, a so-called "police officer" got on the phone to tell the shocked grandparent he should go to Walmart or CVS and "load a total of $3,000 into Green Dot Moneypak cards in $1,000 denominations," Roger W. said, "and that I needed cash to purchase the cards."
Distressed about his grandson's predicament and desperate to help, Roger W. (who wanted his privacy maintained for fear of being further victimized) cashed a check for $3,000 "at my bank and went to Walmart and bought three MoneyPak cards, each loaded with $1,000 dollars. I returned home and called the police officer at a number with a 438 area code – the area code for Montreal, Canada – and gave him the scratch-off numbers on the MoneyPak cards."
But the scammers needed another $4,000 to complete the transaction. It was only after sending additional money that Roger W. finally called other family members about his grandson's situation. When he reached his actual grandson on the phone and learned he was safe and sound – and hadn't asked for money – Roger W. realized he'd been sucker-punched.
He called the Cincinnati police, the FBI and the Federal Trade Commission, but even more than six months later, "I'm not sure what they've been able to do about it," he said Wednesday.
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