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January 16, 2013

Beware of telephone fraud

Police warn people to check before wiring money

NORMAN — Norman police have received several reports during the last few weeks of people telephoning residents pretending to be a grandson or other relative needing financial assistance in a foreign country or large city in the U.S. 

The caller asks the victim to wire them money because they have been arrested or involved in an accident.  The amount of money requested varies but is usually between $2,000 and $4,000, and the suspect pushes the victim to complete the transaction quickly.  Once the money is wired, the victim learns that the relative is fine, has not been in any trouble, and they have now become the victim of a fraud.

Although this scam appears to be directed primarily toward the elderly, we suggest everyone use extreme caution if they receive a telephone call of this nature. 

Do not accept on face value that the caller is who they say they are, because in some of the cases, the caller had extensive knowledge of family names and relationships. Contact other family members and independently confirm the story.  Do not wire any money until completely satisfied that the circumstances are legitimate. 

Finally, please notify the police if you receive any suspicious telephone calls of this nature.

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