The CBS The Inspectors episode titled “All About V,” focused on how criminals trick the elderly into falling prey to foreign lottery scams by showing Veronica’s (Erica Marie Sanchez) grandmother Marisol befriending scammer Stuart, who sought to bilk her out of her life savings by claiming he needed to pay fees and taxes for the lottery she won.
Marisol Esperanso’s residence in Arlington, VA. Veronica’s grandmother Marisol answers a telephone call from Stuart. He asks her how she likes her new cell phone. Marisol comments how it is too fancy for her; that’s why she took the call on her land line. Stuart says that she has a lot more fancy things coming her way. Marisol asks whether her lottery winnings are coming. Stuart assures soon but adds that he needs additional money to get the funds released. Marisol tells him that she withdrew another five thousand dollars and is just about to go mail it to him. Stuart urges Marisol not to tell anyone as he wouldn’t want to ruin the surprise. He also reminds Marisol to wrap the money up tight in a magazine. “I’d hate to see your money get tied up in customs,” Stuart says. Marisol can’t wait to tell her granddaughter that she’ll be able to pay her college tuition.
After the phone call, Marisol goes to the post office. She tells postal clerk Ray (Brian Clackley) that she has another package to send to Canada. Ray comments how Marisol has been sending a lot of mail up north lately. “And it’s all going to pay off very soon,” Marisol says. “Pay off?” Ray asks puzzled. “I’m not suppose to talk about it,” Marisol replies, realizing her mistake. “Did someone tell you to keep these packages a secret?” Ray inquires, his suspicions now piqued. “It’s all part of the plan dear,” Marisol answers before leaving.
Meanwhile, Preston (Bret Green) is in the crime lab with Georgia (Charmin Lee). He is distracted and tells her how awkward it’s been spending time with Veronica now that they are no longer a couple. Later, we see the awkwardness between Preston and Veronica when they are alone at his house. Fortunately, Noah (Harrison Knight) enters. He tells Veronica about the strange thing that happened when he went to the post office today. But as Noah is ever the film maker, we get two versions of the event; both with a movie flavor. The first shows Noah standing in line with his priority mail box when everyone starts singing and dancing movie musical style. The next is presented in black and white film noir style with Noah looking like a character out of Casablanca. The point of these colorful tales is that Noah spotted Veronica’s grandmother at the post office, but she acted like she didn’t know him.
Later when Veronica visits her abuela, Marisol also acts like she doesn’t know who Noah is even though he’s been hanging around there with Veronica the last fifteen years. Marisol also calls Veronica by the name of her daughter, Gloria, which is Veronica’s mother. Marisol laughs it off that with two such beautiful names, it’s easy for her to get confused. Marisol’s responses trouble Veronica.
Ray calls Amanda (Jessica Lundy) and tells her about how one of his regular customers came in with a package that aroused his suspicions. He explains that they were taught to look out for things like this in postal training. Amanda requests Ray set the package aside for her and she’ll take a look. After retrieving the parcel from Ray and learning from Preston that Mrs. Esperanso is Veronica’s grandmother, Amanda goes to question Mrs. Esperanso and tells Marisol that she has fallen victim to a lottery scam. Marisol refuses to believe that her friend Stuart is doing anything wrong. Although she’s not in any trouble, Amanda reminds that it is illegal to play the foreign lottery and tells Marisol not to send anymore money to Stuart.
Amanda alerts Veronica’s mother Gloria to the situation so she’ll watch out and make sure that Marisol doesn’t mail Stuart money again. Gloria and Veronica go to see Marisol, who assures that Stuart is a good friend and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her. As Marisol has never mention Stuart, both Gloria and Veronica don’t trust that the man has good intentions for Marisol. Worried that her mother will send more money to Stuart, Gloria tells Marisol that she’s going to close her bank account.
Concerned for her grandmother and needing someone in which to confide, Veronica goes to talk with Preston. Any awkwardness between them fades as Preston listens to V’s worries with a supportive ear. “It’s like she’s not there at all. The other day she totally blanked on stuff I just told her,” Veronica explains, adding “She actually keeps forgetting we’re not together anymore. And now with this whole foreign lottery thing I don’t know how she could fall for it.” Preston comments how difficult it must be for Veronica to see her grandmother like that. Veronica says she needed someone to talk to and he was always the person she would turn.
Meanwhile, Stuart calls Marisol. He’s miffed that she hasn’t sent the next payment, but pretends that he wouldn’t want her to miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When Marisol explains that her daughter had her (Marisol) bank account frozen, Stuart tells Marisol to just go to another bank and take out a loan. When Preston goes with Veronica to talk with her grandmother, Veronica notices the cell phone that Stuart gave her abuela so he could contact Marisol. Preston asks Mrs. Esperanso whether they could take her (and the cell phone) to see his mother. Later at US Postal Inspectors Headquarters, Amanda thanks Marisol for coming in. Marisol says that she’d do anything to prove to her family that her friend Stuart is doing anything illegal to trick her. Unaware that his call is being traced, Stuart asks Marisol whether she’s gotten the payment to send to him. Stuart may not have gotten his money, but Amanda has gotten him! It looks like Stuart’s days of running foreign lottery scams are over.
CBS’ The Inspectors episode “All About V” delivered another educational, entertaining and informative episode showing how we need to talk with our elderly family and friends before they fall victim to scammers.
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Photos Courtesy of CBS’ The Inspectors’ Official Twitter.