Scammers take thousands of dollars from OKC victims

Scammers are taking advantage of people in Oklahoma City and police say beware. Oklahoma City Police say two men scammed people out of thousands of dollars within the last month.

Police say the scammers approach victims in a parking lot with a large sum of money. The suspects give a bogus story about how they obtained the money and they want someone in America to donate some of it to charity. The suspects tell the victims that they need to be able to trust them, so as a sign of good faith they ask the victims to withdraw $1,000-$10,000 from their bank. The suspects follow the victims to their bank where they collect the money and then take off with all the money.

It may sounds like something you would never fall for, but the victims say these guys are good.

"It's the lure of easy money. That's what gets people," said Master Sgt. Gary Knight. He says unfortunately this is not a new scam to his department, but it's one that's catching Oklahomans off guard.

"I was leaving and this one hollered at me and came over and said I need a ride over to Walgreens," said one of the victims who didn't want to be identified. He's 83 years old and can't believe he fell for it.

"I just didn't have my guards up high enough I guess," he said.

While leaving The Chef Store off I-240 the victim says a man walked up saying he needed a ride and just jumped in his car. The suspect said he was from Africa and needed help.

"He says my brother just passed away and I've got $200,000. He showed me papers both from the government over there," said the victim.

After a long exchange the victim thought it all made sense and he would come out of it with $10,000 to keep. So the man took out $10,000 of his own cash as good faith money.

"So unfortunately the victims fall for that, give them cash, and the scammers make off never to be seen again," said MSgt. Knight.

The second incident started at the Bank of America at SW 89th and Penn. The victim had just cashed a check for $1,000 when he says the suspect basically jumped into his car, showed him a briefcase full of money and asked to go to McDonalds. So the victim took him there. Once they got to McDonalds there was another suspect and both men started laying out their scheme. The victim said he was so afraid of what would happen if he didn't comply, he gave the men his wallet with $1,000 inside and they took off running.

"It's a crime of opportunity, and if the opportunity is there, one would assume that since they've done it twice before that that is going to continue until somebody puts a stop to it," said MSgt. Knight.

Police do not believe the two suspects are armed and they may be driving a white van, possibly a Dodge Caravan.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 405-235-7300.