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New phone scam demands $10,000, threatens to kill family

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by Tessa DiTirro, WKRC

WYOMING, Ohio (WKRC) - Pay $10,000, or your family could be killed -- that's the phone call some people in the Ohio area are getting.

Officers say some neighbors have gotten this call. Fortunately, officers do not think anyone has fallen for the scam.

"If you value your life since this is not a joke or a scam..." -- This is just the beginning part of the scam call Patricia Spurling of Wyoming, Ohio said was on her answering machine Sunday afternoon. She didn't answer because she didn't recognize the number.

"I saw it was Chicago, Illinois, so I didn't pay any attention to it," said Spurling.

The call has demands.

"You have to pay me $10,000 and call me on number as soon as you get this message," the scam call goes on.

Spurling said this seemed unrealistic.

"He was insistent on [the number]. He gave a phone number to call and everything. If you don't call, you call this number and you have to send $10,000," said Spurling.

The call continued, "My people are following you for a few days. Do not think of contacting the police or tell anyone otherwise I will kill you and extend it to your family."

That's when she called Wyoming Police.

"But she said, 'They actually threatened to kill your family?' And I said yeah, and if they're following me, they're either coming with me to Costco or Krogers. That's pretty much it," said Spurling.

Next, she wanted to warn her elderly mother to hang up.

"I called and I told her what had just happened and I could hear that instant ah, ah, and you could hear the fear," said Spurling.

She's glad she didn't react.

"Just stop and take a breath. Don't go into panic mode," said Spurling.

The call instructs people to pay by calling a number with a 331 area code. Wyoming Police Chief Rusty Herzog says they believe that number is fake and connects to someone who isn't related to the scam.

Circa sister station Local 12 called that number and did not get an answer. If you are on the other end of any scam call, always call police first.

Click here to register on the "Do Not Call" list.

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