WICHITA, Kansas — Carl says he now wishes he had just said no. Hung up the phone.
“But I didn’t,” says Carl Shaffer of Wichita. “I mean, you try to do the right thing. I thought I was helping my grandson.”
Carl lost $10-thousand in a phone con.
“It sounded so real. These guys were good,” says Carl. “I thought it really was Caleb. He said the jails in Peru were really bad. He even handed the phone over to a lawyer.”
Turns out the lawyer and Caleb were both liars. Both were from Lima, Peru. Both sounded like the real deal.
“So I got a lot of phone calls,” says Carl. “They just kept calling. I was told the jails in Peru were really bad news.”
The con on Carl worked like this: Phone call from supposed grandson. Grandson got into trouble in Lima, Peru and landed in jail. Money needed to be wired right away to get Caleb out of jail.
Investigators say they’ve seen it all before. And, they don’t blame Carl.
“Oh, I get it,” says Harvey County Sheriff T Walton. “They do. They really sound legit. And some of these guys are accomplished. But, don’t fall for it. If there is a relative in need… just call other family members to check it out.”
Walton says those doing the pitch are often from other countries, meaning the money is just gone.
Carl found out the hard way.
“Oh, I called the FBI. I called the Kansas Attorney General,” says Carl. “But the FBI told me there really was nothing they could do. The money is just gone.”
“The really nasty part is, they called back. They called back and one pretended to be Caleb’s attorney. I still thought I was talking to Caleb. They said the magistrate there (Lima, Peru) dropped all but one of the charges. Then, they said they needed another $27-thousand. I said, I don’t have that kind of money.”
Carl found out it was a con, and did not send any more money. Now he has a message.
“Anybody calls about a grandson. A grand-daughter. In a wreck, in jail, wanting money,” says Carl. “Hang up. They’ve got all kinds of scams going.”