A common scam is now making the rounds in Norman, targeting elderly victims by making them believe a relative is stranded in a different city or foreign country.
Police say they've received several reports during the last few weeks of people telephoning residents and pretending to be a grandchild or some other family member. The person claims to have been arrested or involved in an accident in a large U.S. or foreign city.
The caller asks the victim to wire money. The amount is usually between $2,000 and $4,000, and the scam artist pushes the victim to complete the transaction quickly because it's an emergency. Victims wire the money, and learn too late that they've been scammed and their relative was never in trouble.
Police say although the scams are targeted toward the elderly, everyone should be cautious if they receive a similar call. Police say contact the family member before sending any money to make sure the call is legitimate. They also urge people to call the police if they receive any suspicious telephone calls.