STILLWATER, Okla. (KFOR) – Authorities in Stillwater arrested two Florida men in connection with scams that targeted Oklahomans.
Officials with the Stillwater Police Department arrested 28-year-old Jorge Mario Jaramillo-Orozco and 34-year-old Alexander Dejesus Hernandez were arrested in connection with ‘confidence game’ scams that occurred on April 5 and April 6 in Stillwater.
Investigators say a multi-state criminal organization has been targeting Oklahomans.
There are variations of the scam; some callers claim to be a relative of the victim and some callers claim to be a lawyer calling in regards to the relative supposedly in trouble.
The caller typically states that a loved one has been arrested for a crime including DUI, drug dealing, or gun smuggling. They may also say they have been mistakenly arrested.
Officials say the phone reception is typically poor to help disguise the caller’s voice. The caller will also say they have limited time in order to pressure the victim.
Authorities say they will ask for a large sum of money.
“The caller may include that there is no time for independent confirmation of the claims, that the jail or police are not allowed to comment or release information to verify claims, or that a judge has placed a ‘gag order’ on the case,” the Stillwater Police Department wrote.
The caller may tell the victim to withdraw funds from their bank account and then wire transfer the money to a certain recipient. They could also say that a courier will collect the money in person.
Investigators say victims are chosen based on information obtained from the internet and dark web.
“None of the callers are bondsmen, lawyers, couriers or relatives of the victims. It is important to know the legal process regarding arrests and bonds. Police or jail personnel will never ask anyone to wire transfer money to post a bond. Lawyers, especially court appointed lawyers, are rarely involved in the arrest and bond process and do not use high pressure tactics to collect funds for bonds or fees,” the department said.
Also, judges do not place ‘gag orders’ to restrict information about arrests and bonds.
Officials say if you are contacted, reach out to your relative at the last known phone number you have for them.
Also, you can call the jail directly using a phone number from the jail’s website.
Both suspects in this case were arrested on complaints of exploitation of the elderly and obtaining property by trick or deception.