NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Be on the lookout for a new scam.
They happen all year long, but they always seem to pick up in numbers as the holidays approach. The good scam artists sound so convincing, but they didn't not good enough to scam two East Texans.
They shared their encounters with the East Texas News in an effort to alert others that scammers are back in town.
Robert White was coming out of Brookshire Brothers when a stranger approached.
"He said he was from Africa," White said. "He was here because his brother passed away and he was here collecting the insurance."
Being a nice guy, Robert gave the stranger a lift. Before they got too far down the road, the scam began.
"[He] had a big wad of money," White said. "I seen several, several hundred dollar bills."
Then the stranger spotted a man in a suit in another parking lot and asked Robert to stop.
"He asked him if he could go into a bank and pull out the money and this and that and he said yes," White said.
The man in the suit said he was a grocery store manager who banked at Regions.
White explained what happened next. "[He] said he had got out $6500. He opened up a little envelope, a Regions envelope."
Then, talk turned to a money exchange.
"But by that time I quit listening," White said. "I just wanted the guys out of my truck."
When that finally happened, it allowed White to call 911. The East Texas News showed the police report to Susan Swearingen, a regional bank deposit coordinator for Bancorp South.
"Oh OK, this is kinda like the pigeon drop," Swearingen said.
Tellers learn the red flags. So should you.
"The whole key is they don't plan on doing any banking" Swearingen said. "They're trying to scam you out of the monies, and they can use many different scenarios."
Take for example a suspicious cell phone call made to Julia Hensley of Bald Hill. The caller told her they had good news for her.
"'Nine thousand dollars is yours, free grant,'" Hensley said, quoting the person who called her.
"Then the catch came," Hensley said.
You may have guessed it already.
"'I need to get your checking account number and your routing number,'" Hensley said, quoting the man on the phone.
"You're not going to get gonna get it from me," Hensley said.
Hensley and White figured out that they were being scammed, and they ended the dupes.
"They don't care what kind of lies they're telling you, just as long as they're satisfied with what they get," Hensley said.
"Real quick and easy how you can get caught up in it," White said.
Police were unable to locate the suspects. Scammers move fast from one town to the next.
A simple search online for "how to avoid scams" can send you to a wealth of information that if followed can protect your wealth.