(CBS) -- Retired Tennessean Franc Stratton spent his career working in intelligence, first for the air force and later as a cybersecurity programmer. But his expertise still didn't prepare him for the scam that began with a morning phone call in April.
"I hear-- "Don't be afr-- don't be afraid, but I'm the public defender from Austin, Texas. They have-- put your grandson in jail after a wreck, and he has a DUI offense," Stratton said.
The man said Stratton could bail out his grandson if he sent $8,500 dollars cash via FedEx. That might sound ridiculous, but Stratton had actually done just that for a family member once in the past. Not only that, but the 'attorney' briefly put his 'grandson' - who sounded injured - on the phone.
So, Stratton drove to the bank.
"I wrote a check out, and they gave me $8,500 cash in hundreds."
Then, he went to a local mail location to overnight the money to an Austin, Texas address.
"They had it so well scripted. They knew everything about my grandson. They knew everything about me."
"Scammers are successful at getting people to send large amounts of money because grandparents really care about their grandchildren. The grandchildren sound like they're in terrible distress...they're crying," said Monica Vaca with the Federal Trade Commission.
But back in Tennessee that night in April, Stratton says, "My wife and I looked at each other and said, "Scam." So he called FedEx to return the package and he got his money back.
Stratton says he fell for the scam at first due to his love for his grandson, something he says every grandparent can fall victim to.