TWO families have lost thousands of pounds after falling victim to an international cash con.
Callous criminals contacted the concerned parents of two local men who were volunteering in South America and pretended to be them to swindle money.
The crooks said they were their sons and claimed that they were going to be arrested if their parents didn’t send sums of around £1000 each within three hours.
Richard James (29) from Strathblane, and Ross Sampson (26) from Bearsden, are teaching English on a five and a half month cruise around the world with an aid organisation called Peace Boat.
Their parents received identical e-mails from hackers which said their son had been involved in an accident on a hired quad bike with no insurance in Peru.
The e-mails claimed they had mis-judged their speed and had crashed into a tree but managed to jump off so they weren’t injured.
However, the messages said the bike was ruined and they had to pay for it.
The e-mail claimed that as they had to rush to catch a boat the quad bike company thought they weren’t going to pay and confiscated their passports.
The parents were told their sons were heading to the company’s office in Panama, where police officers would be waiting for them, so they needed the payment to be sent before they arrived.
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