Scammer clones phone, impersonates family, almost dupes local couple

Earlier this month Crystal Harrison and her husband of Steiner Ranch almost got scammed.

“It was so believable because they had details about my sis-in-law that sounded exactly like her,” Harrison said. “My husband didn’t even catch on. Even when I tried to get him to hang up the phone he was still worried to do so.”

The event happened on February 2 and Harrison said “thankfully we figured it out before we sent them money.”

The scammer cloned her sister-in-law’s phone so they had her contacts and they called her mom, who lives with the Harrisons. A female caller sounded an awful lot like Harrison’s sister-in- law on that Wednesday night. 

“She was hysterically crying and said she got in a wreck with some drug dealers who then took her from the scene of the wreck. The short version is the drug dealer then got on the phone with my husband and had a great story about how she was messing up his drug deal and that if the repairs to his car didn’t get taken care of tonight he was going to put a bullet in her head,” Harrison said.

Since her sister-in-law lives in Corpus Christie, they wanted the Harrisons to wire money. “The story was so good and the girl sounded so much like his sister, my husband fell for it. He went out to wire them $2,500 for the repairs,” Harrison said. 

But in the meantime, his brother called the police and they told him this is actually a very common scam and asked if they tried calling his sister directly. “When we did that, we reached her, she was at dinner with friends… i raced to CVS to stop him from wiring the money and caught him just in the nick of time,” said Harrison, who wants to warn others of the scam.