Elderly Salina couple bilked out of thousands

An elderly Salina couple were scammed out of more than $100,000 over the past several months by a caller who told them they’d won a Las Vegas MasterCard drawing and would be receiving a Mercedes-Benz and $2.5 million tax free.
Salina Deputy Police Chief Carson Mansfield said the couple were told they would receive their prize after paying customs charges, taxes, insurance, vehicle storage and other fees. He said the couple was contacted repeatedly by phone, and told they needed to send more money between Jan. 1 and May 14.
The couple, who are in their 80s, sent $105,000 to $120,000 over the 31/2-month period to various locations in the United States.
Salina police worked with the Austin, Texas, police department to discover that from there the money was wired to Jamaica. Austin police found out the Austin resident who had received their money had also wired a total of nearly $500,000 from other scam victims to Jamaica, Mansfield said.
Police continue to work with Jamaican authorities, but Mansfield said it is unlikely the money will be recovered.
“What I want to get across is how good these scammers are,” Mansfield said. “Even with their daughter and the police department telling them this is a scam, they didn’t believe it. They were still in touch with them by phone.”

For more on how the scammers took advantage of this elderly couple, read reporter Erin Mathews’ story in Friday’s Salina Journal.

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