Woman Lost Last $100 After Wiring It To Scammers Who Claimed They’d Kidnapped Her Cousin – CBS Chicago

CHICAGO (CBS) — Suppose you bought a name saying a drug cartel had kidnapped your cousin – and to avoid wasting her, you have to ship cash, instantly.

What would you do?

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It’s all truly a scary rip-off that value a Chicago lady in a giant manner. CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas unraveled what occurred.

Serving to household is second nature for Helen Presley.

“I’m a house care aide for my grandmother,” Presley stated.

So when she received a name saying her cousin was kidnapped, she put her cleansing on pause at grandma’s home.

“They stated: ‘Don’t name anyone else. Don’t do something, as a result of in case you do, we’ll assault, sexually assault your cousin,’” Presley stated.

A person informed Presley to go to the closest Western Union and switch hundreds of {dollars} to somebody in Mexico, the place his supposed cartel was based mostly. However Presley solely works part-time and doesn’t have hundreds of {dollars}.

“I used to be utterly terrified,” Presley stated. “I didn’t know what to do in addition to comply with their directions, as a result of I didn’t need her harmed.”

So as a substitute, she despatched her final $100. That was cash she was saving to repair the injury to her automotive from a current storm.

She sat in that very same automotive ready for the abductors to drop her cousin off at a Walgreens. They by no means did – as a result of they by no means had her cousin within the first place.

“I waited about an hour or so earlier than I referred to as my cousin – and she or he stated she was high quality,” Presley stated. “So I spotted it was a rip-off.”

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Then she reached out to Western Union, and realized she couldn’t get a refund.

“It’s heartbreaking, however it’s not stunning,” stated Teresa Murray, a client watchdog with the U.S. Public Curiosity Analysis Group.

McNicholas requested Murray what we might inform folks to get them to keep away from these sorts of scams.

“By no means, ever, ever pay somebody that calls you on the cellphone with present playing cards, or wire switch, or Bitcoin, or something like that,” Murray stated.

However right here’s the place the water will get murky.

Presley stated the decision was so convincing as a result of when she first picked up, she thought she was speaking to her cousin. She heard a girl with the same voice who even knew her cousin’s title earlier than the person took the cellphone.

“In addition they had my cellphone quantity, so it feels prefer it was any individual that probably knew me or knew my household,” Presley stated.

And that’s a thought she will’t scrub out of her thoughts.

Our professional tells us in case you get a name like that, simply dangle up and name the member of the family instantly.

We requested Western Union to remark, however they by no means did.

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On its web site, the cash large outlines more than 20 scams, and has a quiz that can assist you keep away from such rip offs.

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