Grandfather loses $159,000 in fake arrest scam

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — An Oregon man identified only by his initials lost nearly $160,000 when a caller posing as a State Department official told him his granddaughter was arrested in Mexico and needed money for her defense.

The Eugene Register-Guard reports a federal grand jury indicted three men on wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The accused men have not yet been arrested or appeared in court.

On Feb. 13, prosecutors allege the man answered a call from a person he believed worked for the U.S. State Department who told him his granddaughter was being held responsible for an accident in which a Mexican girl was killed.

The man sent money three times to a New York hotel before realizing he was being scammed.