HomePine Bluff newsPine Bluff residents warned about new scam targeting UAPB football players' families

Pine Bluff residents warned about new scam targeting UAPB football players’ families

Pine Bluff, Arkansas – A scam has surfaced targeting families of University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) football players. According to Special Teams Coordinator Kyle Kramer, several families received distressing calls claiming their sons were in jail and demanding money for their release.

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Four families reportedly received these deceptive calls. In these calls, scammers asserted that the players were detained and required nearly $1,000 for bail. Fortunately, three of the families detected the ruse in time and avoided financial loss. However, one parent was deceived by the scam’s convincing nature.

Allison Sarris, whose family traveled from Ohio to watch her son Dean play at the last home game, encountered the scam firsthand. After returning to Ohio, a call from someone posing as “Officer Jenkins” from campus security informed her of her son’s arrest. Despite sensing some discrepancies, the urgent nature of the situation regarding her child clouded her judgment.

“He’s been arrested,” the caller claimed, causing immediate panic in Sarris, who, in the rush of concern for her son, transferred the money to the scammer.

The targeting of football players is not random, as Kramer explained. Their public profiles make them—and by extension, their families—more susceptible. Player rosters and profiles available online provide ample information for scammers to exploit.

“These players have backgrounds and player profiles that make them more easily accessible,” said Kramer. This increased visibility heightens the risk of being singled out by fraudsters.

Upon realizing the scam, Sarris took action by notifying her bank to initiate the fraud report, hopeful to recover the sent funds. Meanwhile, Kramer is working closely with the police to trace and apprehend the scammers responsible for exploiting the families’ vulnerabilities.

The incident has prompted an immediate response from Kramer and the UAPB community to raise awareness among parents and guardians. The goal is to prevent any further victims of this heartless scam by urging them to stay vigilant and verify any such distress calls before acting.

With the police involved, the UAPB community is on high alert, reminding each other to maintain skepticism about any alarming calls without confirmation. In these stressful scenarios, a moment of pause for verification can make all the difference between safety and loss.

Olivia Martinez

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