LUBBOCK, Texas — Cohee Mastin said she would have done anything to help her 18-year-old son, who called from an unknown local number after being in an accident. She would later find out it wasn’t her son, Hunter on the other side of those calls, it was someone else looking for Cohee’s attention and money.
“It was this voice and it just said mama can you hear me? This is Hunter and I said yes, what’s wrong?” Cohee said. “He was just sobbing, crying and he said I’ve been in an accident, I’m so sorry, he just kept saying, I’m so sorry.”
Cohee said Hunter told her an attorney would contact her soon with what to do next, and that’s when it got even worse.
“The lady that your son hit was six months pregnant, and the baby died, so now he’s being charged with manslaughter and at that point I mean, I was distraught,” Cohee said.
The so-called “attorney” requested the bail money be mailed in a box, and that’s when Cohee and her friends and family realized something didn’t seem right.
“We had someone on the other line by that point, and he had told us to ask him what his district number was so we said,” What is your district? And so, he just hung up,” Cohee said.
Cohee would later track down her son at school, where they would send proof that he was okay.
“They went and next thing I know I get a call and it’s him and the lady who found him sent me a picture of him talking to me, and it was, I mean, I was crying so hard he couldn’t even understand me,” Cohee said.
Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office investigator, Tex Recter said these calls can happen to anyone at any time. Scammers prey on emotionally vulnerable people, such as the elderly and parents.
“They’re looking for an emotional response, either fear or anger or something in that capacity. Want you to act emotionally so that you make an irrational decision that you wouldn’t make if you were thinking clearly your levelheaded,” Recter.
Cohee is a widow and said scammers may have found that out via social media, and that may have made her a target.
“I don’t know if they could get on Facebook, I don’t know how they would find out all that, but they really did know how to get to my Mama heart,” Cohee said.
LCSO said to grab another phone and call police departments, agencies, jails and hospitals who may be able to confirm the event. They also said you will not receive calls from law enforcement agencies requesting money.