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TYLER, July 7, 2014— On July 2, the Smith County Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigation Division received a call from a man in Southern Smith County who had lost $9,500 to an individual who claimed he was his grandson and needed bail money.
When the man first took the call, another man who pretended to be the victim’s grandson, told him that he was in jail in Maine. The subject said that the victim had to send bail money via a pre-paid money card to pay the grandson’s way out of jail.
The man went to a drugstore, bought the cards, and did as he was instructed. After giving the card numbers to the scammer, the man realized it was not his grandson and he had been taken, so he reported the incident to the Smith County Sheriff's Office.
The public is urged to be suspicious and use caution when responding to any type of phone call where someone is asking for money. Use whatever means possible to question and verify the veracity of the call and take note of as much information as possible, including names, description of voice(s), background noise on the call, and phone number(s).
Please report any suspicious phone activity to your local law enforcement agency as soon as possible.
If anyone receives a similar call in Smith County, please contact the Smith County Sheriff's Office immediately at 903-566-6600.
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