SHOW LOW – Local law enforcement has been dealing with a rash of bogus kidnapping calls to unsuspecting White Mountain residents demanding money for their relatives.
One such attempted scam the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12, was thwarted at the last possible minute by Navajo County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
NCSO Chief Deputy Brian Swanty said an elderly Show Low man was contacted by scammers by telephone telling him to send an undisclosed amount of money to them or he would never see his relative again.
The relative lives in Flagstaff.
The man reportedly believed the scammer and went to a local store where he could make a money transaction and was in the process of sending the money when NCSO deputies found him and were able to stop him. They assured the man his relatives weresafe and sound and in no danger.
Swanty said if anyone gets such a call they should hang up immediately, call the family to make sure their family member is alright, and then call their local police department right away and report the call.
Swanty said it was only a full response by multiple police agencies, including the Phoenix Police, Flagstaff Police, the NCSO Major Crimes Apprehension Team (MCAT) and the Arizona Department of Public Safety that the scam victim was found and stopped from sending the money before it was too late.
Swanty said MCAT detectives were able to trace the number the victim gave them and when they called it and confronted the scammers they were met with curses, profanities from an extremely angry scammer who failed in stealing a large sum of money from the elderly victim.
Swanty said elderly people are typically the target of this, and many other scams, that attempt to steal money from unsuspecting victims.
He said once that money has been sent to scammers they find ways to hide where it came from and where it went. There is virtually no chance of getting it back.