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The Catalyst

Telephone scam surfaced in the Charleston area

A telephone scam has surfaced in the Charleston area. Calls are being received from a caller who informs the victim a loved one or family member has been in an accident.

The caller often asks leading questions, which in turn is causing the victims to provide the names or locations of their family members. Then, they tell the victim they are holding the loved one or family member hostage until they receive payment. The scenario varies from call to call and occasionally includes threats to harm the family member or a statement about the caller’s brother being there with the brother being a “fugitive” who is angry. The callers demand the victim wire money for the safe release of their family member. The request is usually between $500 and $1,000.

Some demands have been much higher in certain areas. It appears the calls are not coming from the local area. It is also unknown at this time how the victim's phone numbers are being obtained.

If you receive such a telephone call, confirm the safety of your family member and contact your local police agency. For information call 720-2497.

July 2, 2013

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