The Pennsylvania State Police issue a warning about a phone scam that snared at least six victims from around the state, including from York County. The victims each reached phone calls stating that a relative was in danger. The callers said the relative was either taken hostage or involved in a minor accident. During the course of the call, the victims were told that 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.
Investigators have determined that the calls originate from Puerto Rico and were made using a pre-paid cellular phone. Although the calls emanate from outside the continental United States, the caller ID on the victim’s phone typically displays a local number. These so called “hostage” phone calls have occurred throughout the United States.
State P0lice have issued the following precautions to potential victims.
* Be suspicious of any stranger who calls and asks for money, regardless of the situation or stated reason.
* Never provide strangers with personal information such as your social security number, birth date, credit card numbers or address.
* Do not wire or transfer money to unknown individuals.
* If you receive a suspicious call, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately.