DUNCAN, Okla._A reoccurring phone scam that uses fear to trick grandparents has hit several families in the area over the past few months.
The caller pretends to be a grandchild who is in jail in a foreign country claiming they need money to bail them out. One grandmother in Duncan lost nearly $8,000 to this scam, another family in Marlow, close to $10,000.
The grandmother from Marlow didn't want her identity released but she wanted her story out there, she hopes that it can prevent others from falling into the same trap.
"It's been so confusing to me."
Sad words from a Marlow grandmother who was worried about her grandson, Matthew. Last Friday, she got a call from someone pretending to be him, "When this guy was acting like Matthew, he said ‘grandma I am in a little bit of trouble.'" He said he was in jail, and needed $1,700 to be set free.
Scammers don't want you to tell anyone and they didn't want this grandma to say anything to keep her from sending the money, "Don't tell mama, please don't tell mama, and I said ‘ok Matthew, ok.'"
They were told to send the money through Walmart's MoneyGram services, which they did. Duncan Police Captain, Jay Evans said the scammers don't stop at that first check, they keep going, "We have also had them after they initially sent that money, they will call back and say hey they are trumping up some charges on me."
The scammers will try to milk as much as they can, sometimes up to $5,000. They called this grandmother back, but she wasn't having any of it because she found out it was a scam two days before. A scam that she can't believe happened, and she can't understand why it happened to her, "I can't understand anybody being so uncaring, and taking money from people they don't even know for unknown lies."
Some tips if you think you may have someone trying to scam you over the phone. Make sure they can prove who they are by just asking simple questions that only they will know. If someone is pretending to be someone in trouble, it's always best to try and call the person to make sure they really need help.
If you have been called by a possible scammer, you are asked to go to www.fbi.gov and file a report.