Trusted local news leader for Kingman, Arizona & Mohave County
Tue, Sept. 24

Kingman scam victim warns others to be wary

KINGMAN - An 83-year-old Kingman woman was victimized by an old scam with a new twist Monday.

A caller represented himself as a police sergeant named Eric Matthews who said he worked at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City.

He said the woman's grandson had been arrested and needed money for bail.

The purported grandson begged her not to tell anyone and to send the money as soon as possible.

The woman, who asked that her name not be published, said she didn't think anything was wrong until after she sent $1,350 via Western Union.

Her first inkling that something wasn't right was when she checked her phone and realized the call originated in Montreal, Canada, not Mexico.

The alleged sergeant called her nine times, she said, to implore her to send the money.

"I got to thinking, that doesn't sound like my son," she said, so she decided to check on him. "I called him and he said, 'Grandma, I'm at home.'"

The Miner called the number and the man who answered the phone said the newspaper had reached the U.S. Embassy. The Miner asked for Sgt. Eric Matthews, who came on the line almost immediately.

He hung up just as quickly after he was informed a newspaper reporter was on the other end of the line.

"It's too late for me, but I wanted to make sure other people in Kingman don't get taken in," said the woman.

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