April 17, 2014

Caller threatens bombing in apparent scam call

A caller to the Big Pine Key CVS pharmacy threatened to blow the store up Wednesday.

A man called the business at 7 p.m. and told the clerk who answered the phone to fill a Green Dot card with $500 or he would blow up the store. The clerk handed the phone to a co-worker and the man repeated his threats to her. The two hung up the phone and called the Sheriff’s Office.

They told Deputy Kendall Bailey they think the caller intended to have them load the card with $500 and then give him the number off the back so he could use the money.

The two employees handled the situation properly, according to Sheriff Rick Ramsay.

“This call threatening to blow up the store is a bit extreme, but there are many scams around that are similar. Generally someone is trying to force you to send them money quickly so you don’t have time to think about it,” he said. “If someone calls and tells you to do something and it just doesn’t feel right to you, it probably isn’t. Take the time to check it out – call us and we will help you find out if the situation is a scam or not.”

Some other examples of scams being reported locally:

Some businesses are currently getting calls from people claiming to be from utility companies, threatening to turn off electricity if they don’t pay their bills using green dot money cards or other types of prepaid cards. Oftentimes, they are using phone “spoofing” technology so it appears the call is coming from the utility company.

A person will get a phone call about a friend or family member who is in trouble. That friend or family member needs money quickly to get out of whatever trouble they are in. Typically, the scammer asks for you to go to the store and get green dot prepaid card and give them the number on the card; they may also ask that a money order be wired to a certain location.

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