SPOKANE, Wash. — Phone scammers are becoming smarter and more efficient. One man says love almost cost him too much.
Jon Louis is a widower of four-and-a-half years. The possibility of love almost convinced him to take $3,000 out of his account and send it to a woman he fell in love with living in Yemen.
"My heart got in front of my brain," said Louis. "You almost know it's a fraud. But could I afford to possibly lose $3000 to get the love of my life with me?"
Louis said he had never even met her, but she was convincing – even to someone like him who has experience with fraud watch training.
According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, robocalls coming into Washington state have more than doubled in recent years.
Now the state is seeing about 560 million of these calls per year.
Washington state AARP director Doug Shadel said many of these calls are scams and people are trusting caller ID too heavily, which is often easy to fake.
He added that a lot of these callers will use fear to get victims to break their banks.
"I've heard examples of people who have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars this way, so the best thing to do is to not engage with them at all," Shadel said.
The woman in Yemen said $3,000 would get her to the United States and she would pay Louis back.
"It's thanks to the Spokane Teachers Credit Union that I didn't fall for it," he said.
AARP staff have made it their goal to keep as many people as they can from becoming victims.
Those who are interested in learning more information about avoiding scams can visit the AARP website.