Elderly OKC Man Falls Victim To Scam

Thursday, June 16th 2011, 8:32 pm
By: News 9

Jon Jordan, News 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- It is a type of scam so common it even has names for it; known as the "Nigerian Scam" or "Pigeon Drop" it has cost unsuspecting victims thousands of dollars.

For years, it's a scam that has worked on the internet, but now Oklahoma city police say people are doing it in person.

It happened when an Oklahoma City man thought he was going to be helping out a charity at the same time make some extra cash.

The victim, who didn't want to be identified, says he was approached at Mike's Gas Station located at S.E. 44th and Santa Fe by a man with a heavy African accent. The victim says the man told him he was in the country collecting on a $150,000 insurance settlement he received after his brother died in a plane crash.

The 85-year-old victim says the man appeared to have the cash and paperwork to be believable.

"He had that authentic looking letter and stuff.  It looked authentic all right, but it wasn't," the victim said.

The elderly man says the suspect told him he would give him $50,000 as long as he gave $40,000 to charity. All the victim had to do was prove he had his own money and wouldn't take off with all the cash.

To do that, the suspect along with another woman who police say was in on the scam, had the victim drive to the Bank of America in Capitol Hill and withdraw $9,000.

They victim made an identical withdrawal at a Municipal Employee's Credit Union of Oklahoma City near S.W. 88th and Walker.

After the con artist pretended to give the victim his money back, the victim, thinking he would pocket $10,000, instead found himself bilked of his $18,000.

"I am ashamed and mad," said the victim.  "I don't know how I ever let somebody talk me out of that."

The money the victim says he lost was going to be used to buy a new truck.

"I never knowingly killed anybody, but I hope I don't see them. I don't want to see them except in prison," the man said.

The idea the two suspects would commit this type of crime in person has the police desperately wanting to catch them.

"To see this actually happen in person as it did in this case, where two people actually met our victim and got in the car with him and went to the bank with him and withdrew money is more unusual," Oklahoma City Sergeant Jennifer Wardlow said.

As Oklahoma City police search for the two responsible for scamming the man, Edmond police are also investigating an almost identical scam that happened on June 6. It's unclear, however, if the two are related.