You always think that it won't happen to you, or someone you love, but the truth is, it does - - and with alarming, heartbreaking, frequency.

The proof is, that yet again this week in Sioux Falls, an elderly woman was the unlucky loser of $16,000! This unconscionable robbery of another senior citizen is nothing new and yet, not just a few of us think, "how could this happen?"

Dakota News Now reported Thursday (June 24), that on Monday afternoon an 80-year-old Sioux Falls woman received a call reporting that her son had been in an auto accident and was in jail.

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The male caller went on to say that the woman's son needed $8,000 to pay the car rental company for the damages to his vehicle. He told her the other half of the $16,000 payment would be made by a friend of her son. She went ahead and mailed the money to a California address she was given.

The next day (Tuesday, June 22nd), she was contacted by the same person and told that her son's friend had failed to make the second half of the payment and that she would now be responsible for it. Once again, she sent the money. This time to a different address in California.

Jessie Schmidt from the Better Business Bureau here in Sioux Falls tells us that one of the reasons these scams work on older citizens is, that "they can be fairly isolated, especially over the last year and a half".

That friendly voice at the end of the line couldn't possibly be lying. They are motivated by their love for the family member in supposed jeopardy.

Schmidt says that the average loss to a phone scam, per person, is around $9,000! She emphasizes not to answer calls from numbers you don't know and to verify the information you're being given, including the whereabouts of your family members.

Sources: Dakota News Now and Better Business Bureau of the Dakotas

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