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The first-person story of how one family responded to a family emergency scam: by putting it on the radio.



My dad started off in the Dominican Republic as a DJ 60 some odd years ago. He was the first Dominican actually in the United States to own a radio station. Radio Cumbre has been here for 27 years. We're a family run business. We're a music format, but we really have a very strong community focus. We're probably close to 40% Hispanic here.

It was a Saturday morning, and I had a phone call from my sister. She had gotten a phone call from someone saying that my brother had gotten into a car accident and hit a kid. They needed money to get him out. Not long after that I'm sitting at my parent's house, and my dad gets a phone call. The person said, hey, abuelo, it's your favorite grandson. Now I'm in Manhattan. I got into a car accident. I, kind of, need your help. My nephew lives in Florida. He's a college student.

Con artists are very, very good at pretending to be people that they are not. The first thing they do is get you into a state of panic and fear. They don't want you to be thinking very carefully. They'll convince you that your relative is in trouble, somebody that you love is in trouble, and that you can help them. And you can help them by sending money. Don't do it. It's a scam.

That got me really upset, and then that's where I decided-- I was like we've got to come in and do something about this, so that other people don't have to do this. What we did was put it in as a news piece during our morning show. We wanted to make the public aware this was happening in our community. That people were getting calls. That the Hispanic community was being targeted.

These scams can target very specific communities. So when it's happening to you, chances are it's happening to people you know, people you love. So tell other people about it. Warn them. By talking about it, telling these stories, you're helping to protect not just yourself but your whole community. Pablo did a terrific thing. He shared his story. He shared it far and wide. He got it on the radio, and by doing that he reached 100s, 1000s of people who were able to hear about the scam. Once you know about the scam, you can avoid it.


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