A Bristol, S.D., couple advises people to be on the lookout for a phone scam that almost took them in last week.
Burdell and Muriel Bohn got a call for someone posing as their grandson who said he was at a wedding and had gotten into a car accident in Mexico and needed $2,560 before he could leave the country.
Both Bohns said the man who called sounded just like their grandson who is in the Army. The grandson is stationed at Fort Bliss, Texas, just across the Mexican border. The caller first talked to Muriel and later to Burdell, warning them not to tell anyone about the incident because he needed the money right away. The caller told them to take the money to a Wal-Mart store and get a moneygram made out to Cameron Smith, Mexico City, Mexico.
The Bohns were suspicious knowing their grandson wasn’t supposed to be in Mexico, but they complied anyway. Upon reaching the Aberdeen Wal-Mart they were advised this scheme sounded like a hoax by an alert clerk. She recommended that the couple talk to their daughter before sending the money. The daughter confirmed her son was nowhere near Mexico and the request was nothing but a setup.
The caller also told the couple he would call back in a couple of hours to confirm the transaction. When he did, he talked to Burdell and asked for the receipt number for the money transfer. Needless to say the couple didn’t give him one and eventually hung up.
The Bohns still can’t get over how much the man sounded like their grandson but they are thankful that the clerk at Wal-Mart convinced them to check into this a little deeper.
“Afterwards I called the manager at Wal-Mart and told him how much we appreciated the quick actions by his employee,” said Muriel.
“He sure sounded like Cameron,” added Burdell. “We came real close to sending the money.”
This isn’t the first time this scam has been tried in the area. Most times the callers get foiled by alert store clerks who are aware of how these thieves operate. The thieves often use covers in places like Canada, Switzerland or Mexico. The Bohns shared this story in the hope that no one else gets tricked by these con artists.