Pottawatomie County Sheriff Greg Riat on Thursday issued a warning to residents about a phone scam targeting grandparents that has already cost victims thousands of dollars.
At least two Pottawatomie County residents have become victims of the scam, which, in one case, began when the grandparent received a call from someone who identified themselves as being with the American Embassy in Mexico.
The callers in this matter know the name of the grandchild before they call, Riat said in a press release. In one reported incident, the victim could hear what sounded like their grandchildren in the background during the phone call.
The caller tells the suspect that their grandchild is being held and that money needs to be wired for their release. The grandparents are told not to contact anyone — just to send the money.
In the other reported incident, the caller tells the grandparent that their grandchild is being held by police in Mexico.
Both cases have resulted in the victims losing thousands of dollars because they believed they were helping their grandchildren, who in fact weren’t in trouble.
Riat said the suspects involved in the Pottawatomie County cases are not located in the United States and it’s unlikely that the victims will ever get their money back.
Riat suggests that people contacted by these callers try and contact the person the suspect says is in jail or contact local law enforcement.