Published: September 17, 2013
Law enforcement officials are investigating reports of an unknown male who has called citizens and threatened to kill their family members if they didn't wire money.
Three individuals received similar calls the morning of Sept. 13 from (978) 204-8051, a Massachusetts number, the sheriff's office said Tuesday in a press release.
During the first reported call, a male voice told a resident of the 10800 block of East Woodmen Road that he had his daughter and grandson and would kill them if money wasn't wired to him.
The family members were accounted for and unaware of the situation, according to the sheriff's department.
Two additional calls from the same number were reported shortly thereafter.
A similar call was reported to the Colorado Springs Police Department the following morning.
The caller told a woman, who was at the Wal-Mart on 8th Street, that a family member had been involved in a traffic accident with gang members. Those gang members would kill that family member unless money was wired to him, the caller said.
The family member had not been kidnapped, according to the police department.
The calls appear to be random. Sheriff's deputies performed an internet search on the number and found reports of similar calls to residents of Orlando, Fla.
The sheriff's office has contacted phone vendors in an attempt to determine who the number is registered to, said Lt. Jeff Kramer, spokesperson for the sheriff's department.
Colorado Springs police are also investigating, said Barbara Miller, a spokeswoman for the department.
"It's not uncommon for someone to have a cell phone from another state but reside here," Kramer said. "We hope people slow down enough and think things through and notify law enforcement before they ever decide to send money.