State College, PA - Centre County - Central Pennsylvania - Home of Penn State University

Police Issue Warning About Phone Scam

by on December 03, 2013 12:00 PM

A vicious phone scam is making the rounds in Pennsylvania. At least six people have been targeted across the state.

In the scam, someone calls the victims, telling them that a relative is in danger.

The Ferguson Township Police Department is warning area residents to watch out for such phone calls. In each case the victims have been told that a relative has either been taken hostage or involved in an accident.

The caller demands $2,000, telling the victims that their relative will be harmed if the money isn't paid.

The callers frequently have personal information about the victims. In one incident, the scammer knew the name of the victims' brother, along with his work location and cell phone number.

Investigators believe the calls are coming from Puerto Rico and are made with pre-paid cell phones. Even though the calls are placed from outside the country, the victim's caller ID often displays a local phone number.

No suspects have been identified. Police don't know how the suspects gathered the victim's personal information.

If you receive one of these scam phone calls you should contact police. The Ferguson Township Police Department can be reached at (814) 237-1172.

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Steve Bauer was the Managing Editor of Steve and his wife Trina are longtime area residents. They reside in State College along with a wacky Golden Retriever named Izzy.
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