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Phone scammer targets local upscale restaurants

By Alyssa Crawford , KXLY4 News Producer , alyssac@kxly.com
Published On: May 02 2012 09:22:33 AM CDT
Updated On: May 02 2012 07:13:54 PM CDT
phone scam spokane restaurants
SPOKANE, Wash. -

The owners of two upscale restaurants in Spokane were almost victims in a phone scam, to the tune of $1,600.

Bill Alles, the owner of Churchill's Steakhouse, was one of the targets.

Someone called him and claimed to work for the Spokane County Sheriff's Office. The person told Alles that one of his employees was involved in a DUI collision. The person said Alles needed to wire money to get the employee out of jail.

Alles was on the phone with the person for over an hour and actually took out money before getting suspicious about the caller.

He said he can't believe how close he was to getting scammed.

"I read e-mails. I've seen other people get duped in circumstances and said, 'That would never happen to me.' I was very close to getting caught," said Alles,

It's situations like this that worries Deputy Craig Chamberlain.

"If he came this close to basically fulfilling the requirements for this, it's scary to think of how many people will actually go through the entire thing," said Chamberlain.

Deputy Chamberlain stressed that law enforcement would never ask you to bond someone out of jail.

If you received a call similar to this, you're asked to call Crime Check at 509-456-2233.

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