Although it hasn’t taken place in our area, a Crawford County scam is serving as a warning to everyone. Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk to Saline County Sheriff Wally George:
According to officials, this seems to be a new way criminals are attempting to take money from innocent individuals. “Folks in Crawford County received calls on their cellphones telling them that, if they didn’t wire money to the caller, he would shoot a member of their family,”said George, “The FBI is working to trace those calls. They know they came from the state of Illinois and they’re still working on the case.”
The Sheriff explained his reasoning behind issuing a warning to his area residents. “Even though Crawford County is a fair distance from Saline County, I wanted folks to be aware of this fact,” said George, “This way if they receive such a call they will at least be aware of this scam going across the county. This is about as low life as you can get. It seems the scams across our land just keep getting broader and broader.”
Anyone who receives any type of suspicious phone call is asked to immediately contact their local law enforcement agency.
The Sheriff of Crawford County, Missouri, which the county seat is Steelville, Missouri, has received (3) three separate reports from people that have received calls on their cell phones from a male subject who threatens to shoot a member of their family unless they wire money to the caller.
In all three cases the relatives were found to be secure.
It appears to be a new scam to extort money from honest citizens.
All three calls are originating from the state of Illinois.
I understand Crawford County is a fair distance from Saline County, but I am concerned enough about the threat of violence to extort money that I at least wanted our people to be aware of this new and violent scam.
If anyone in Saline County should receive one of these calls, please notify my office immediately so I can contact our FBI agent, who in fact is now looking into the Crawford County incidents.
Wally George, Sheriff