OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – An Oklahoma grandmother was nearly conned out of $12,000 by someone posing as a lawyer allegedly trying to get her grandson out of jail for a hit-and-run.
Her granddaughter, Kayleigh Wilson said her 87-year-old grandma got a call Thursday morning from a so-called lawyer, Michael Kelsey claiming her grandson was behind bars, but he would be released if she paid his bail in full and in cash by February 9.
Wilson said whoever was on the other end of the call gave her grandmother a case number and even said her brother’s full name, so it was hard not to believe.
The lawyer also allegedly told her grandmother she couldn’t tell anyone about the situation because the case was under a “gag order.”
“She had her caretaker take her to the bank and to respect her privacy, they don’t go into the bank with her. The caretaker didn’t realize that kind of money that she took out until they got back home,” explained Wilson.
News 4 spoke with the caretaker in an on-camera interview, but she’s worried the suspect will recognize her she requested to stay anonymous for fear of physical safety.
She told KFOR when she saw the large stack of cash withdrawn, she started to ask questions.
“I tried to ask her: ‘Did you talk to your grandson personally? ‘And she could not tell me, so that from the beginning kind of gave me a red flag like ‘hey, something’s not right,'” she said.
The grandmother called the lawyer back to plan a meet up at her home.
Shortly after, a man showed up to her front door, ready to collect the money.
Surveillance video shows the grandmother was on the phone with the “lawyer” when the associate showed up.
She gave the phone to the associate in which it appears he is asked if he had the money.
His response: “No, not yet.”
In the background, the caretaker whipped out her phone and pressed record as she felt uneasy about the interaction.
“At first, I tried to stay out of his view, so he didn’t know I was there to try and see what exactly he was going to do. As soon as she started inviting him into the house, I stepped into his view to make sure that he saw somebody else was there,” said the caretaker.
The man then locked eyes with the camera, gave the phone back to the grandma and left empty-handed.
“She was holding the $12,000 directly in front of him, so he definitely saw it and that’s why I called 911 immediately after he ran to his car, because I was afraid he was going to come back with his buddies, thinking, ‘Okay, I saw the money. It’s two little women. We can just take it,'” added the caretaker.
Luckily, Wilson said the man hasn’t shown back up.
The caretaker told KFOR the grandmother has been conned out of money once before.
She believes the same man who posed as the lawyer is who conned her the first time.
“Her husband died and she gave out her social security number through a scam, thinking it was law enforcement or something and he used the same name, Michael. He sounded the exact same as the guy from last time,” the caretaker recalled.
Wilson said she’s infuriated someone would do this to an elderly person, especially her grandmother.
“They don’t have the opportunity to make more money. Like they have no problem leaving elderly people homeless with nothing and most people in her position would give everything they have for their families, for their grandchildren. They [criminals] know that and they take advantage of that. It’s infuriating and it just makes me sad that she’s a smart lady, but she heard that her grandson was in trouble and she was going to do anything she could to protect him,” stated Wilson.
Wilson said her grandmother is doing okay, but she feels a bit embarrassed.
“She’s safe and appropriate measures have been taken with the bank to safeguard her account. We monitor her home very closely,” added Wilson.
Oklahoma City Police are investigating.
Wilson urges anyone who may know something to say something.
“I’m really hoping that someone sees it and does the right thing. He’s going to continue to do this and it could very well be your grandparents the next time you know, your vulnerable, you know, person that you love more than anything in the world. It’s just not right,” said Wilson.
If you have any information about this case, call Crimestoppers at 405-235-7300 or submit a tip online.