PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Families of football players at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff are said to be the targets of a recent scam.
Special Teams Coordinator Kyle Kramer told KARK 4 News four families of players have received calls that their sons are in jail, and they owe nearly $1,000 to bail them out. While three of the families were able to figure out that it was a scam before paying any money, one mom was not quite so lucky.
Allison Sarris and her family are from Ohio but were in town for the last UAPB home game to watch her son, Dean play. Not long after her flight landed back in Ohio, she received a scary phone call.
“This gentleman says, “It’s Officer Jenkins with campus security, I have your son, Dean here, he’s been arrested,’” she said.
Sarris said despite some red flags, the phone call was mostly believable. Her son was asleep when she got the call, so he was unable to tell her right away that he had not been arrested. In addition, she said it can be hard to think straight when it comes to your kid.
“I panicked like I shouldn’t have, and I sent the money,” she said.
Kramer said he believes football players are easily targeted because their information is more accessible than other students, given that they have information on the roster and player profiles on other websites.
“Any young kid, it’s a shame to be targeted but I think obviously they’re a little more easily accessible to get information on,” Kramer said. “They have backgrounds and player profiles and things like that.”
Sarris said she has contacted her bank to report the fraud and is waiting to get her money back. In the meantime, she and Kramer hope getting the word out reminds parents not to fall for calls like these.
Kramer said he has contacted police regarding the matter and they are working to find the scammers.