News & Events

Date of Release: 1 October 2015

Date Incident: Past Week

Subject: Same Old Scam, With a Different Twist

We are constantly cautioning everyone not to send money to someone they don’t know in another country; or to send money to someone who claims to be holding a loved one in a jail in another country.

This old scam has taken on a new twist. Unfortunately, it recently caught two Sonora area residences off guard, and they became victims to this scam during the past week. Between the two victims, $9,000 was lost. Once these funds are wired, they are gone forever. Because these crimes are occurring in another country, the perpetrators are rarely captured or prosecuted.

In the two recent cases, the two victims received phone calls from a person claiming to be a government official from another country. They told the victims their grandchild were in their country visiting, and were involved in an auto accident in a rental vehicle; and because their grandchild failed to buy the rental insurance, someone needed to post a cash deposit to cover the cost of the damages to the rental car and the other vehicle. The victims were then told if they didn’t deposit the money, their grandchild would be incarcerated and not allowed to leave the country until the funds were deposited.

Neither victim attempted to confirm if their grandchild were actually out of the country, nor did they attempt to verify the caller was actually a government official from another country. Both victims promptly had funds wired to the person who was requesting the funds on behalf of their grandchildren. It was after they had wired the funds they learned their grandchildren were still in the U.S.

Always be cautious and suspicious when dealing with people calling you from another country. Verify everything they are telling you. Speak with a friend or relative to verify the information the caller is alleging. If you are unable to contact a friend or relative, you can always call your local law enforcement officials and speak with them. Whatever you do, speak with someone before sending money to a person in another country who you don’t know.