EDMOND, Okla. (KFOR) — An Edmond man is sharing his story after he received a call from his mother saying she was in trouble with the cartel. However, it turned out to be a high-tech scam.
Hearing a family member in trouble, your instinct is to do everything you can to make sure they are safe, even if that means taking out thousands of dollars. That is what Bobby Stem did until he realized it was all a scam.
“No one is going to help your mother but me, no one is going to help you, not the police, not the people, not your wife, just me.” This is what the scammer on the phone told Bobby during the phone call.
“He’s telling me, don’t call the police or your mother’s dead,” Stem said.
A terrifying moment in a matter of minutes after Bobby received a phone call with a woman crying, saying it’s his mother and she is in trouble, after getting in a car accident.
“For her to be hurt, for a crying lady to call you saying Bobby this is your mom and I’ve been an accident; at that point in time you stop trying to nit pick, you know, whether or not it’s a real voice,” Stem said. “You just want to get to your mom.”
Not being able to get a hold of his mom, Bobby proceeded with answering the demands of the man on the phone.
“He tells me that my mother has hit his car and that my mother has damaged his product,” Stem said. “And he tells me with a lot of profanity that he’s driving through our state with a great deal of drugs, and he’s not going to show up to his boss with drugs missing or with no money.”
“She is going to pay the consequences, your mother believe me. Stay calm and tell me when you got the money.” The scammer continued to be persistent.
Bobby pulled out more than $2,000 and was headed to meet this man at a Walmart to do the exchange, but during that time he got a hold of his mother and let him know she was okay.
“We’re seeing the rise of those,” Paul Sems, cyber security expert said. “A lot of those are coming because the technology has advanced to a point, where with just a few seconds of someone’s phone call or a conversation, they’re able to simulate another person’s voice.”
Bobby is thankful for the outcome of his situation, but worries for those who could be the next victim.
“To have a crying female on the phone saying, I’m your mother, no son is not going to take that call serious,” Stem said. “Had it been somebody that was younger saying, this is your daughter, same thing.”
Paul says it is hard to decipher these types of scams, but there are things to look out for; like an unrecognizable number and if its a number you can call back or text.
They also recommend to do this, something Bobby has done with his family since the incident, create a safe word that only family will know so if you are in trouble, they know it’s real.