Two local residents recently were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

Two local residents recently were scammed out of thousands of dollars.

The crimes were reported last week to the Leavenworth Police Department.

In one case, the victim, an 86-year-old woman, received a phone call Aug. 7 from someone who purported to be the victim’s granddaughter. The caller said she was in jail and needed money to post bond, according to Maj. Dan Nicodemus, deputy chief of the Leavenworth Police Department.

The victim received a second phone call from someone purporting to be an attorney who was making arrangements for the granddaughter’s bond.

The victim reportedly sent $5,800 using an overnight shipping service.

At some point, the victim contacted her granddaughter and learned the earlier calls had been part of a scam.

The woman attempted to cancel the delivery of the money, but it apparently was too late, according to Nicodemus.

Nicodemus suggests people who receive these types of phone calls place calls to their loved ones to verify what has happened.

“I think a quick return phone call would have saved (the victim) a lot of heartache,” he said.

In the other case, another victim, a 74-year-old woman, reportedly received a call Aug. 9 from a man with what sounded like a foreign accent. The man claimed to be with the U.S. Social Security Administration. The caller indicated there was an arrest warrant for the victim.

The victim was told authorities believed she was involved trafficking drugs and laundering money.

The caller asked the woman to remove money from her bank account and purchase Google Play gift cards.

The caller asked that the victim remain on the phone with him as she withdrew the money.

“We’ve seen that before,” Nicodemus said, referring to other scams. “They don’t want to lose contact with the victim. Everything has to be done right now.”

The caller asked the woman not to speak to him on the phone while she was in the bank.

The victim withdrew $1,900 and used the money to purchase Google Play gift cards. The victim apparently provided numbers on the cards to the caller, allowing the scammer to access money from the cards.

“Once they’ve got the numbers, they’ve got the money,” Nicodemus said.

The victim later went back to the bank to withdraw more money. And this time, personnel at the bank became suspicious.

Nicodemus said a teller at the bank spoke with the scammer on the telephone.

The scammer reportedly called the victim again, pretending to be a police officer. The scammer threatened to arrest the victim.

Nicodemus said the caller ID showed the phone number for the scammer was a non-emergency line for the Leavenworth Police Department. The deputy chief said the scammer apparently had used what is known as caller ID spoofing to show an incorrect callback number.

“The bank contacted the Police Department directly,” Nicodemus said, and officers responded.

Nicodemus said people should become suspicious if they are contacted regarding unknown criminal activity.

Nicodemus acknowledged that people who are told they are being accused of illegal activity might want to avoid contact with the police. But if they are unfamiliar with the alleged criminal activity, they should feel free to contact authorities to make sure they are not being scammed.

A request for gift cards as a form of payment also should be a red flag, Nicodemus said.

He suggests people talk with family members to make them aware of these types of scams.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR