PA State Police Warn of Phone Scam

December 20, 2013

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.