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Family or friend stuck at Fresno airport? It could be a scam – here’s what to do

Travelers walk to the rental car/baggage pickup area in the terminal at Fresno Yosemite International Airport on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015.
Travelers walk to the rental car/baggage pickup area in the terminal at Fresno Yosemite International Airport on Saturday, Jan. 31, 2015. Fresno Bee file

If you receive a call from a family member or friend stuck at Fresno Yosemite International Airport asking for money, chances are it’s a scam.

The airport has recently been advised of a “Family Emergency Imposter Scam.” The scam includes someone posing as a family member or friend urging you to wire money as soon as possible to help with an emergency situation.

The scammer then claims to being held by authorities at the airport and needs money in order to be released. To legitimize the story, the scammer will often have another person join in on the call, claiming to be a lawyer or another type of official, says the Federal Trade Commission.

The airport is offering tips to individuals who may receive a call or message from someone asking for money.

  • Resist the urge to act immediately, no matter how dramatic or compelling the story may be.
  • Verify the caller’s identity by asking questions that a stranger could not possibly know.
  • Call a phone number of a family member or friend you know to be genuine and ask if the story is legitimate.
  • Do not wire money or send a check by overnight delivery or by courier.
  • Report possible fraud at ftc.gov/complaint or by calling 1-877-382-4357.
  • Report fraud to local law enforcement.
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