Threatening phone calls part of scam

December 4, 2013

The Pennsylvania State Police Department Montoursvile issued the following report:

The Pennsylvania State Police has been alerted by other law enforcement agencies in the Commonwealth in which victims have received phone calls stating that they have a relative who was in danger. The callers have stated the relative was either taken hostage or involved in a minor accident. During the course of the calls, the suspect told the victim they must pay $2,000 or their relative will be harmed. The callers possessed some background information on the victims and in one incident, knew the victims’ brother’s name, work location and cell phone number.

Investigations into the various incidents have determined the calls originated from Puerto Rico and were made using a pre-paid cellular phone. Although the calls emanate from outside the country, the caller ID on the victim’s phone typically displays a local number. No suspect has been identified at this time. It is unknown how the suspects acquired the victim’s personal information.

Anyone who has received this type of telephone call should report it immediately to the Pennsylvania State Police or to their local police department.