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DSA In the News

Phone scammer threatens cop

Published on 2/15/2011

A scam artist from Jamaica threatened to shoot a sheriff’s deputy in the head Friday night while the two were engaged in a conversation over the telephone, according to the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office.

The deputy was threatened after responding to a call in unincorporated Redwood City from a man who said he had been receiving about three calls a week for the last six months from someone representing themselves as “prize patrol,” according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The scam artist had been trying to get the victim to wire $300 to Jamaica so he could receive a $1 million prize. 

On Friday, however, the victim said the scam artist threatened to shoot him in the head if he did not pay the $300, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

The victim provided the deputy with the name of Peter Myers and a phone number with an overseas area code. The deputy called the number and a man answered the phone. After identifying himself as a deputy sheriff, he asked the man if he threatened the victim and the suspect replied that he was going to shoot the deputy in the head, too. The caller then disconnected, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A few minutes later, the victim’s phone rang again and the deputy answered the phone. The caller thought the deputy was the victim and asked why he had called the police. The caller insisted that he was not going to shoot the victim and again went through his attempts to get the victim to send him $300 so he could deliver the prize, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

A search of the suspect’s phone number revealed the 876 area code is from Jamaica, where the suspect wanted the victim to wire the money, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Scam artists often use the promise of a valuable prize or award to entice consumers to send money, according to the Sheriff’s Office.