"Relative in Trouble" Scam Warning

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CRESTVIEW, FL - The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office wants to warn residents about a common scam that was used this week to successfully con money out of an elderly Crestview resident.

The 78-year old victim received a phone call Wednesday from a man who identified himself as her grandson and although she says he didn’t sound like her grandson, she thought it may be due to stress. He went on to say he was in jail in Mexico and needed money to get out and return to the U.S. He said he’d been jailed due to a car accident in which he was the driver and he put a man on the phone he said was his “lawyer”.

The lawyer told the woman her grandson needed $1900.00 to get out of jail and to send it via Western Union. She was told not to say anything to anyone because it could jeopardize her grandson’s safe return to the country.

The woman successfully transferred the money but later talked to her real grandson who informed her he had not been in Mexico or been jailed.

The “lawyer” however also called back and said he now needed more money to get her grandson’s release.

Thursday, the victim contacted the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office which is now investigating.

The scenario above is a commonly used “a relative is in trouble” type of scam, typically used to target older citizens.

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