Two Victims Hit by Recent Phone Scams - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Two Victims Hit by Recent Phone Scams

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KENNEWICK, WA- Recent phone scams have targeted two Kennewick residents and caused them to lose thousands of dollars.

The first victim was 86-year-old Ed Olivera.  He first received a call Friday from a male who he thought was his grandson asking for money to take care of a recent accident he had been in.

The unknown male asked for five $500 money packs and Olivera sent the money over.

The suspect called again saying he was now in jail and needed more money to get out.  Olivera then received another call from a man saying he was the suspect's lawyer and asked for five more $500 money packs and that again was sent.

Olivera called his daughter to check on the grandson, but the grandson was home and was never in an accident.  That was when Olivera discovered he lost $5,000 in the scam.

“Sometimes they're coming from overseas, sometimes they're local. It's hard to know because they're calling from blocked numbers.  It's hard to trace where they're coming from once you send cash, you do a wire transfer, you send cash cards, that money is just gone,” said Sergeant Ken Lattin, Kennewick Police.

The second victim was a 17-year-old girl who got a call Friday from a man claiming to be her uncle.  He asked for $500 after being in an accident and called back later to ask for $800 more dollars.  She lost $1,300 in that scam. 

Police warm people to be cautious, verify the identity of the person they are talking to, and check with other family members before sending money to someone claiming to be related.