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Police warn of phone scam; resident lost $2,000

Oct 26, 2017 By Kelli Ameling, Staff Wrier

A phone scammer has victimized a Lander resident after stating her grandson was in jail and needed help.

Lander officers received a report from a woman who said she had been scammed out of $2,000.

The victim advised she received a call stating her grandson was in jail in Chicago and needed $4,000 sent in iTunes gift cards.

The victim sent $2,000 before finding out her grandson was in Lander and was not in custody.

Ask questions

In recent years, similar scam and fraud calls have become more common in Fremont County, preying on anyone, but especially the elderly and those with credit cards.

"They are preying on the week and suffering," Lander Police Department Chief Robert Cecrle said.

In the past, Cecrle has reminded residents not to give out information over the phone. Instead, he said, people should ask questions.

Cecrle explained that, in his experience, fraudulent callers try "befriending" their victims by saying things like,

"Your nephew is in jail and you need to send money to bail them out."

Often the will try to use a voice they think will sound like a police officer or a young relative.

"Most people will say, 'Oh you mean John in Arizona?' instead of asking 'Who is in jail and where at?'" Cecrle said in previous reports. "Do not give out information. Ask them for details and a number so you can call them back when you are done looking into the situation.

"Usually, when they are the ones being asked questions, they will hang up."

Anyone who has come in contact with a scammer should make a report to local law enforcement, Cecrle said.

"Although they might not have been scammed, they might have information that will help ... others in the community (avoid) becoming victims," Cecrle said."

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