2 Georgians arrested, accused of preying on elderly Oklahomans in ‘grandparent scam’

Local

EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) – An out-of-town duo are now behind bars for allegedly being involved in a “grandparent scam,” to swindle elderly Oklahomans out of their hard-earned cash by lying to them and saying their loved ones are in jail and need money to bond out.    

“When our customers come up and want to withdraw large amounts of cash, we ask them a few questions,” said Robert Banks, the COO of Kirkpatrick Bank in Edmond. “Once money is handed over, or wired out, it’s gone and it’s hard to get back.”

Edmond Police said an elderly Oklahoman tried to withdraw $15,100 in cash at the bank, near 15th and Broadway last week.

Police said the scammers call the elderly and falsely tell them their loved one, usually a grandchild, is in jail and need money to get out.

“They said that they knew their loved one’s name and they said that in the phone call,” said Banks. “They believe it all.”

Police said 37-year-old Roger Ray and 27-year-old Jabriex Mann would pose as messengers for a fake attorney. Officers said they would walk up to the victim’s door, grab the cash, and take off.

Banks said after the teller noticed the victim was withdrawing a large sum of money, he was called over to talk to them.

“Why don’t you call your daughter, or your niece, and find out if they really are in trouble?” Banks said he asked the victim. “I think there was some relief though when they talked to their loved one and knew they were okay.”

Edmond police were called to the bank and officers got to work on planning the bust at the victim’s home, where Ray and Mann were waiting and thinking they were about to score.

“Can I enjoy the fresh air?” Ray can be heard saying to an Edmond officer on body camera footage. “Here’s what I’m going to tell you,” said the officer. “So don’t enjoy the fresh air?” asked Ray again. “I’m going to ask you nicely to get inside the car,” replied the officer.

Ray and Mann, who are from Georgia, are now facing several complaints, including exploitation of the elderly, obtaining money under false pretenses, and conspiracy.

Meanwhile, Banks said he’s happy the scammers are now behind bars.

“To know that your efforts go to catch criminals and keep them from doing this to anyone else. It’s very satisfying,” he said.

Police are stressing this is not how the jail system works. If you get a call like this, check in with your family members to make sure.

Oklahoma City Police were also searching for the duo, saying other elderly Oklahomans have also fallen victim to the alleged scammers.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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