OKC Police Warn Of Scam Artists Targeting Elderly

Tuesday, October 8th 2013, 10:46 pm
By: News 9

Scam artists have targeted people in the Oklahoma City area and made off with thousands of dollars. In one case, the victim was elderly and the thieves nearly wiped out his entire life savings.

Oklahoma City police said Tuesday the suspects were operating around S.W. 89th between Penn. and Western.

The scammers have targeted parking lots, and an 83-year-old veteran was one of the first victims.

"You know you don't that money to pay your bills with and I am a 100 percent disabled veteran," Don said.

Don was willing to share his story, but not his identity. He said he is embarrassed about losing $10,000 on a fixed income and he wanted to warn others.

"There's nothing I can do, I've lost it, it's gone," said Don. "So I just as well go on and do the best I can."

Police released surveillance photos of the suspects who are described as two black men with African accents.

In Don's case, and at least one other, the suspects approached the victims and flashed a huge amount of cash.

They found Don in the parking lot of a Chef's Store with a bogus story about needing help donating the money to charity.

"You just can't hardly believe it, but they're out there," Don said in disbelief. "These crooks are out there."

Don said the suspects told him they needed to be able to trust him with the money, so as a sign of good faith, they asked him to withdraw his own money from his bank.

Oklahoma City Police said that should have been the warning sign.

"Anytime somebody is coming up to you and offering money and orders for you to get more money, obviously that's some type of scam," said MSgt. Gary Knight.

Don said the thieves sounded sincere and he fell for it, pulling out $10,000, which was nearly all his savings.

The suspects left with all of the money and Don was left at a complete loss.

"I gave my health for crooks like that," he said through choked back tears.

Police said the suspects have been driving a white van, possibly a Dodge Caravan. If you see them, you are asked to call Crime Stoppers at (405) 235-7300.