Celina grandma scammed 3K in 'grandparent phone scam'

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CELINA, Texas (KXII) -- A Celina grandmother scammed out of thousands of dollars for doing something she thought would help her grandson.

Paralea Burgess has 5 grandchildren and says her family is extremely close.

So when she got a call from someone claiming to be her grandson, Josh, she believed them.

"He asked who is your favorite grandson grandma? And I said Josh."

The caller said he had some devastating news, he'd been in a bad accident and had injured a Spanish diplomat.

"They were blaming him for all of it. And he had a broken nose because his seat belt didn't deploy."

Burgess says she then heard the voice of another man -- claiming to be her grandson's attorney.

They told her she needed to buy $3,000 worth of Target gift cards or else her grandson would be going to jail.

"He called back just minutes after I got home and he asked me the numbers and I gave him the three numbers and I thought that would be pretty much it."

But the man claiming to be an attorney called back the next day asking for more money.

And Burgess says she gave them $500 more.

Before hanging up, the man told her she couldn't discuss anything about the matter with anyone or else she could go to jail.

"I talked to my grand daughter and it was her husband and she said no nothing even happened. He was at work that whole time."

That's when Burgess realized she had been scammed.

Police found that within 30 minutes of receiving the gift card numbers, the suspects used them at a Target in Grapevine.

Burgess says looking back, there were several red flags but in the moment she was terrified for her family.

"it was just such an emergency thing, he is a father of two and I didn't want him going to prison. so I did the best I could."

No arrests have been made and police are still looking to identify the suspects.

Police say if you get a call like this, hang up and call them.

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