Shirley Coleman, Oak Grove

To the editor:

I would like to report how I became a part of  an “Impersonation Scam” using Western Union as its source.

 I received an unknown phone call this past Tuesday, November 24th, from a person that claimed to be my nephew telling me he was in Canada on a hunting trip and was involved in a serious car accident.

He said they had been drinking  a little and was put in jail and needed my help to get out. Could I possibly help him as he didn’t want his family to know until he could get home and explain.

This call caught me at a time I didn’t have time to think rational as my husband and I were leaving to take my sister to the hospital, so I chose to stay home and take care of this. He instructed me how to wire him the money he needed using “Western Union” and he would call back to get the confirmation number  so it could be picked up for him. I agreed to help as I was convinced he was truly my nephew.

He made four more calls that day with convincing information about our family of which I didn’t question the fact that he was who he said he was.

Thinking we had reached out and helped a relative, we thought we had helped someone who needed our help and were assured we would get the money back as soon as he got home.

Again the next morning at about the same time when we were getting ready to leave for the Thanksgiving Holiday I received another call claiming  he was out of jail finally and on his way home but they would not let him cross the border without posting bond money to assure he would be back for his court date.

Again being convinced it was legitimate I followed his instruction and using “Western Union” wired him what he asked for. Again I was promised of the repayment as soon as he got home.If this was all true I knew he was definitely capable of the re-embursement.

While we were getting ready to leave  we had time to process  the information he had given us and had a real gut feeling something wasn’t right so we made some phone calls to relatives and found out our nephew had been home all week. With that we knew we were a part of a scam and immediately notified the police of what had happened along with “Western Union.”

This has cost us thousands of dollars we could not afford to lose had we known we would not be getting it back.

As bad as the loss of money was is  how easily he had access to our extended family information. Please alert anyone you know that this is happing. Local Western Union  Services have not been aware of this scam.

I’m willing to share this information to alert the public how these people could make the next call to you or a family member or friend