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Saginaw County woman scammed out of $20,000

Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 6:50 PM EST
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SAGINAW COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - A Saginaw County woman is out $20,000 and she hopes her story will prevent others from falling for a similar scam.

The scam started with a phone call. The voice on the other end of the phone sounded like her son.

“It was a little different, but he was crying and he said he had a broken nose and a lip laceration, so of course I wouldn’t expect him to sound exactly like himself, but the things he said sounded exactly like my son,” said Karen Brettrager.

So when Brettrager’s son said he was in jail accused of causing a deadly accident while drunk, she frantically tried to help him.

“And I would have done anything to get to him,” she said.

Brettrager was then directed to contact a man posing as her son’s court appointed lawyer, who asked her to pay him the bond amount so Brettrager’s son could be released from jail. The lawyer sent to her a gas station in Buena Vista Township to wire a total of $20,000.

“It was so real, that I don’t feel like was being ignorant to the situation,” she said.

But she soon learned that she was being scammed.

“I just wanted to hear my son’s voice, so I decided to call and listen to his voicemail. He picked up the phone and it was like unbelievable,” Brettrager said. “And he was like, ‘What’s the matter’ and I’m like, ‘Are you home?’ And he was like, ‘What’s wrong?’ and I couldn’t even talk.”

The Saginaw County Sheriff’s Office confirms that Brettrager filed a police report after the scam. She knows she likely will not get a dime of her $20,000 back, but says despite that she is grateful her son is OK.

“It’s hard, $20,000 is a lot. But there is no amount of money you can put on your kid,” Brettrager said.

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