Woman Traumatized By Scammers

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A single mom of two, Melanie Shenk, got a call from an out of state number Monday afternoon. The man on the phone said her sister had been in a car crash, and if she wanted any more information it was going to cost her hundreds of dollars.

"I was shaking, I was crying, I was really terrified for my sister's life," Shenk said.

The caller told Shenk it was his brother that caused the crash, but couldn't call the police because his brother was a gang member and a fugitive. Shenk told him she didn't have any money to give and the man hung up.

Melanie immediately called her sister, but there was no answer.

"That scared me even more. I was really happy when she called me back," Shenk said.

It turns out her sister was at work, and safe. Shenk told me the whole thing was so shocking, she missed some red flags. The caller first asked if she had a brother or sister before telling her about the accident.

"Listen to the details...Is it hard to do that when you're so emotionally connected to the person they're targeting? It's super hard, I was really really terrified, I wasn't even thinking about it," Shenk said.

She wants everyone to know about calls like these, so no one else becomes a victim.

"I wish that they could catch the people doing stuff like this, that way it doesn't happen anymore," Shenk pleaded.

Springs police said variations of this call are a common scam; most times they target the elderly, but anyone can become a victim. Police said if ever in doubt, call them right away.

If you ever need consumer help, remember you can reach a volunteer in the 11 News Call For Action office at (719) 457-8211.

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