Latino Families Targeted in Phone Scam

By Ilana Gold
|  Thursday, Jan 31, 2013  |  Updated 12:06 AM EDT
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A new phone scam has been targeting Latinos. Nearly two dozen victims came forward in the last few days, and now multiple police departments were trying to track down the thieves.

The scammers have made phone calls and sent text messages to Latinos across the Greater Hartford Area.

"This is very alarming," said Hartford City Councilor Raul DeJesus Jr..

According to Hartford Police, a man would call and say the victim's relative was in a car accident or being held for ransom, and he needed money to help them out.

Investigators said in many cases he spoke Spanish.

"Usually if they hear the information given to them in Spanish it may bring some credibility to it," said DeJesus Jr.

People have bought the story. Police said at least thirteen from Hartford and four in Manchester wired money through Western Union to Puerto Rico since Sunday. They sent anywhere from $500 to $1,000.

"All the victims have been of Hispanic descent were tracked down over the Internet, after the scammers did research," said Sgt. Glendaly Garcia.

"There are websites that are being utilized to pinpoint names of family members and the victims themselves," Sgt. Garcia added.

Police want the public to be on high alert if they get a similar call or text message.

"Don't send the money and when in doubt ask for names sources company," Sgt. Garcia explained.

Anyone who has received the scam calls and has wired money are encouraged to report it to Hartford Police at 860-757-446.

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