Police receive yet another call about an elderly woman falling victim to an over the phone scam. With no hope of recovering what she has lost, her family comes forward to talk about the call from a criminal that has left them in disbelief. Pro 8 News reporter Patrick Nelson has more on this story.
"Going back trying to back track of how it happened... It happened so fast."
On Friday afternoon, Rachel Farias says her mother received a call from an imposter. Someone was posing as a distant relative, pressuring her to send money quickly to rescue them from a hostage situation in Mexico.
"They said, "Send me whatever you have' and my mom fell victim to that. She called him back and he said you have this much money in your account. She sent him everything."
Their story is no surprise to local law enforcement that says this type of crime is becoming more and more common.
"The scam works so well. If you can get $10,000 off of one victim imagine if you could cold call all day to all parts of the United States especially along the border."
In this particular instance the victims say it was hard to tell if the relative was real or not, due to all the information they had.
"The imposter that called my mom knew too much about the family. He knew my mom was hospitalized in San Antonio. He knew when she got back and that she was here by herself at the house."
Falling victim to the caller's convincing case, Farias's mother wired $900 to Monterey Mexico, money that was picked up within minutes.
"We are not able to recover one single penny from my mother's life savings and it is very sad. She's left with 21 cents in her bank account."
After being victimized by a scam that has taken millions of dollars from people across the country over the years, Farias and her mother say they hope awareness will put a stop to these types of crimes.
"All I ask from the viewers is just their prayers. She was cleaned out in a matter of hours from her life savings."
Patrick Nelson, pro 8 news.
The scam artist who placed the call Friday used a 554 area code that officials say is hard to trace. Victims of this scam say they also have received calls from out of area numbers.