WASHINGTON – A disturbing phone scam that blackmails the victims is targeting residents in Prince George’s County.
The scammer claims a family member has been hurt in a car accident. The caller threatens to hold the family member hostage until the victim wires them money – even threatening harm to the person if the victim hangs up.
The scam is similar to the so-called “grandparent scam,” which has targeted people across the country, usually the elderly. Scammers often pretend to be a grandchild in distress and ask for money.
It’s not clear how many people in Prince George’s County have been targeted.
Prince George’s County detectives investigating the scam warn residents to never give out any personal information to someone they don’t know.
Police ask residents who receive such calls to note the phone number and any other identifying information about the call that could help police track down the caller. Then call 911 to report the incident.
If you have fallen victim to this scam, call robbery detectives at 301-772-4905. Callers can remain anonymous by calling Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Or text “PGPD plus your tips” to CRIMES (274637) on your cell phone or go to www.pgpolice.org and submit a tip online. Crime Solvers is offering a cash reward for tips that lead to an arrest and indictment in this case.