Summertime Scammers Targeting Green Country

Wednesday, June 23rd 2010, 6:54 pm
By: News On 6

By Lori Fullbright, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- Con artists are very convincing and play on our emotions, trust and fears.

So many News On 6 viewers contact us about scams, that we thought we'd tell you some of the ones making the rounds right now.

These scammers sound very believable, they have their stories down, and they've done their homework and can take advantage of smart people. So, before you do anything, take just a moment to do a little homework of your own.

First is the grandparents scam.

"Somebody pretending to be my son said Grandpa and my father said, Alex?" Kelly Schneider said. "And, they said, yes, it's Alex, I've been arrested and I need your help."

Kelly works for the News On 6 and his parents lost around $2,000 this scam on Monday.

The scammer claims to be your grandchild, says they've been arrested and they want you to wire money to help them.

A second person even got on the line, claiming to be the bond agent, saying it all needed to happen fast and be hush-hush.

"He's in Canada, but they can get him out of jail and on a plane very quickly," Kelly said. "The kid pretending to be my son said, don't tell mom and dad, I'll explain everything when I get back."

Kelly's son was at his job in Norman the entire time, but, the grandparent's money is now long gone.

Next, is the Jamaican phone call scam. They first try to get your personal information and if that doesn't work, try to make you mad or promise you something. Either way, they want you to call them back, generally at an 876 prefix.

"What you get is a huge bill on your telephone bill," said Rick Brinkley, with the Better Business Bureau.

Another one is the sweepstakes scam. They claim you've won some big amount, but then come up with a reason you need to send them money, to pay the taxes or upfront fees. It's all a lie.

"Every scam we see today, all roads lead to one line," Brinkley said. "That is wire me the money."

Scammers also claim to be in the military and need money to get back home from Iraq or Afghanistan. Some even pretend to care about you romantically.

Also, some products claim to be News-6 stories. Don't fall for it.

Call the News On 6 or the Better Business Bureau or search online before you do anything and you'll save yourself a lot of money and heartache.