A heads up from El Paso County Sheriff’s Office regarding a terrifying phone scam that involves violence to a loved one.

Per the news release, the scammers making the call threaten to physically harm a relative and use fear to intimidate the person they call to wire money before that person has the opportunity to check if the call is legit (it’s not), and that their loved one is safe.

The swindle attempt has been around off-and-on for several years and has recently started trending again.

The El Paso Police Department warned of a similar scam in 2016 in which the scammer claimed the relative had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom.

There were even reports then of the scammers sometimes going so far as to use co-conspirators to convince their victims of the legitimacy of the threat such as a man or women making screaming noises in the background.

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The latest incarnation may not involve a kidnapping, but the con remains the same; send money now or something horrible will happen to your loved one. As scary and frightful receiving a phone call like that is, law enforcement says the chances of it being real are very slim.

EPCSO asks that if you get one of those calls to gather as much information as possible, such as “names, phone numbers (caller ID), wiring details, or locations mentioned during such phone calls to assist law enforcement in investigating these incidents.”

The Sheriff’s Office non-emergency number is 915-832-4408, and the El Paso Police Department non-emergency number is 915-832-4400.

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