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 The Watchdog

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Master of Master Baiters

Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 6:41 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sunday, Nov 23, 2008, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

The Watchdog: Some scam artists will go as far as to make death threats

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A Colleyville woman received one of those calls in which a telemarketer told her she had won a million dollars in a lottery she never entered. She slammed down the phone, but he kept calling back.

The con he was apparently running was what’s commonly called the Nigerian lottery scam. Victims are told that to claim the winnings, they need to send a fee to cover insurance or other costs, or they are asked for personal bank account information.

On Nov. 10, when the man called her home, the woman tried to hang up. But whenever she picked up the phone, the man was still there.

On her cellphone, she called Colleyville police. At the same time, the man called back her home phone and left the following message, which was recorded, on her answering machine:

"I know you are there," he said, using the woman’s name, as he would four more times in the 65-second call. "I know you don’t want to pick up the phone, but I’m telling you, you need to call me right now. If you don’t cooperate, you and your family will be killed, OK?

"This is a warning, so it’s best to pick up the phone. We have your current address right here. It is [he stated her correct street address] in Colleyville, Texas. And we will be at your doorstep, so it’s best for you to pick up the phone.

"This is your last chance. All right, I’m going to give you some time to think about it. I’ll be contacting you, OK? Give me a call, OK, ma’am?"

The woman, who asked that her name be withheld, contacted The Watchdog with a frantic and fearful message. Crying, she said she wants to share her story with readers so others know the kind of fear tactics being used by scam artists.

She is a 61-year-old grandmother who doesn’t fear so much for herself, she says, as she does for her grandchildren’s lives. She says she really believes that the man meant what he said.

"It has changed me personally," she says. "I’ll never ever be the same again. One person’s call has ruined my life."

Colleyville police Detective R.M. Etheridge, who is investigating, says of the caller: "He’s a terrorist. He has struck terror in her heart, and he’s manipulating her to see what he can do to get money from her."

Etheridge visited the woman’s house to hear the tape. His reaction: "To me, it’s psychological. They were playing with her mind."

The most vulnerable victims for this kind of crime, he says, are women, especially those who reveal that their husbands are away.

That’s what happened with the Colleyville woman. Here’s how it started. One day, she got a call from a woman seeking her husband to talk about a supposed business deal. The caller kept haranguing her for information about her husband. Finally, the woman said that her husband was at work and was unavailable.

After that, a man started calling. In several calls over several days, he tried to tell her about the lottery she won, but the woman says she always told him not to call anymore and hung up.

He kept calling, always while her husband was at work.

After receiving the death threat, the woman used the *57 call trace function. She hit *57 on her phone, recording the number used to make the previous call. The phone company later told police that the number was traced to Jamaica.

The second number the man ordered her to call was traced to Tampa, Fla. The Colleyville detective says the person at that number denied any knowledge of the scheme. Police are getting a subpoena so they can study activity at that Florida phone number.

The detective says that thieves study demographic information and learn about wealthy neighborhoods.

Victims, almost always women, often don’t report the crime to authorities, he says. Sometimes, the callers tell them that if they do alert authorities, other family members will be targeted and killed.

The callers, when they are based in other nations, are almost never caught, the detective says, adding: "Our subpoenas don’t work in Jamaica."

The detective’s pointers:

Never tell a caller that your spouse is away or that you are home alone. Say instead that your spouse is in another room and doesn’t want to be disturbed — even if you aren’t married.

Hang up immediately. Never engage these callers. Never give them any information.

Report any potentially criminal acts to police.

And if you have not played the lottery, remember that you have not won.

The Colleyville detective says he will send a report about the situation to the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, which looks at crimes involving mail fraud. The possibility exists that the caller would have wanted the Colleyville woman to mail him something, authorities say.

Amanda McMurray of the Postal Inspection Service says she hears complaints about scammers who make threatening remarks "fairly frequently."

She adds, "It’s a scare tactic we’ve seen. We encourage people to make mail fraud complaints. But there’s little probability of anyone being hurt by this."

That’s no consolation for the Colleyville woman. More than a week later, she says she is still terrified.

"When I hear the phone ring, my knees are shaking," she says.

"I didn't know Oscar was a pimp!" Chibuike
"simple....go fuck a tree trunk" Phillip Johnson

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Not quite a Newb

Joined: 08 Nov 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 23, 2008 9:12 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yep, that Jaimacan was definately desparate. Jamaicans shouldn't be doing such things, The Jamaican authorities should take action because it will affect their economy since Jamaica is a popular vacation destination with some beautiful sites and waterfalls.
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