Mary Lu W11D5

Week 17 – Tuesday

Welcome to SeniorVu’s daily ‘flash fiction’, with the continuing saga of Mary Lu at the Vu. Mary Lu is a 78-year old fictitious resident of a fictitious senior living community called Hickory Hills View (a.k.a. The Vu).  Every night, while her husband Bobby (he’s fictitious too) sleeps next to her, she sends her sister Carolyn (yup, fictitious) an entertaining email updating her on the day. These are her stories. We hope they become as addictive as your morning cup of coffee. 

Disclaimer: Even though these stories may sound familiar to your community, the story, all names, characters, and incidents portrayed in this series are fictitious. No identification with actual persons (living or deceased), places, buildings, and products is intended or should be inferred.


“Have you ever heard of the grandparent scam?”

I posed the question to Noreen, Jackie and Angela at lunch.

Noreen had seen stories about it. Jackie’s newspaper had run stories about it. Angela thought it was a sequel to “The Parent Trap.”

I didn’t tell them Harriett had sent $5,000 to a con artist who sold her a story that her grandson was in a North Korean prison. But I did wonder aloud how we might warn our other neighbors.

“We should have a seminar,” Jackie said. “Have someone from the police or come FBI give a talk about what to watch out for.”

“Here’s what you tell them,” Noreen said. “Don’t be a dumb-dumb.”

Not helpful.

I explained that anyone who hadn’t heard about these scams before would probably bend over backward to help a troubled family member. We just needed to make sure everyone at The Vu knew what to look out for.

Jackie called an old FBI source of hers who said he’d be happy to come in and speak tomorrow. Noreen and I agreed to spread the word.

I told Harriett what we were doing – and assured her that I’d keep her name out of it.

“I’m trying to figure out how the scammers knew my grandson was in South Korea,” she said.

That was news to me. Last I heard, he was in Virginia.

“He’s studying abroad this semester,” Harriett said. “He wanted to be there during the Olympics.”

That was awfully specific information for these scammers to have. I had no explanation for how they got it. Maybe Jackie’s FBI friend has an idea. But if there’s some big North Korea-led international hacking ring and they chose to target… Harriett?

Well that’s just weird.

More tomorrow,

LuP.S. To catch up on all of my previous Mary Lu at The Vu posts, click here to go back to Day 1.