By | June 1, 2019

The Marietta Police Department is warning the public to be wary of phone scams. (Shutterstock)

MARIETTA, GA — Two local residents this week received death threats from scam phone callers, and Marietta police are warning the public to be alert to thieves who use phone calls to threaten and blackmail victims to get money.

In one case, said the Marietta police, the scammer told the victim they were going to kill a family member if the victim hung up the phone without paying them. The caller demanded the victim pay money to them via an app on their cell phone while still on the call.

Another caller told a different victim that they were ordered to come to their home and kill the victim and their family, but would consider ignoring that order if the victim paid the caller via multiple gift cards, the police said.

Here are some tips from the Marietta Police Department:

1. Use caution and do not give any of your personal information to anyone you do not know – it will be used against you. This means do not tell the caller your name, address, family members’ names, etc. These thieves want to take your money and scare you into complying with their demands.

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2. Try to remain calm.

3. Try calling or texting the family member they are threatening to see if they are OK.

4. Kidnappings are rare, but these scam calls happen hundreds of times a day around the country. If a caller threatens a member of your family, it’s highly likely that he or she is fine and has no idea this is happening. If you’re truly scared and choose to stay on the call, try asking the caller for specific information about your family member that only he or she would know (something not on social media or easily found on the web).

5. Call 911

6. Remember that these scammers are getting more aggressive verbally and want to scare you. The fact that you know their plan gives you an advantage.

(For more news like this, find your local Patch here. If you have an iPhone, click here to get the free Patch iPhone app; download the free Patch Android app here.)

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