VIDEO: Relative-in-Trouble scam on the rise, Tyler Police say

Published on Wednesday, 13 November 2013 14:38 - Written by

Tyler police say they have received several reports recently where citizens have been scammed out of large sums of money believing they were helping a family member in trouble. Don Martin, the department's spokesperson, said the suspects randomly call a citizen and start a conversation in which they are able to extract a family member's name they may have not seen in a while, like a grandson.

The suspect then convinces them that the relative is in trouble and needs money immediately to get out of jail and come home. Many different stories may be given by the scammers to get you to send money for whatever trouble they may describe the relative is in. Martin said the suspects frequently convince the victim to use Western Union or to purchase a money card and have the money wired to an untraceable location. Tyler Police suggest that you should always ask the caller for information that confirms that you know who you are talking to on the phone.

Ask the caller several questions that only the real relative would know without the caller extracting information from you. Obtain a call-back number from the caller and tell them you will call back after verifying their information.

Call other family members to verify if you should proceed with any type of assistance.