New Cell Phone Scam in Central Florida

Investigators at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office are seeing a new type of cell phone scam.  The suspects/caller generally states that they are holding a relative of the victim who was involved in a car crash and the victim needs to wire money immediately via Western Union to a person by name in Puerto Rico.  These callers are threatening bodily harm to the relatives if the victims do not comply with the demands to send money escalating these crimes to Extortions.

These groups seem to be targeting members of the Hispanic community and start off their conversation in Spanish.  In two cases the caller kept the victim on the cell phone until the money wire was sent.   The Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating eleven cases and we are working with our local and federal counterparts and are in contact with the authorities in Puerto Rico.

If you receive one of these calls, it will likely be from a Puerto Rico area code (939, 786 or 787). Initially, the caller will not know the name of the relative. They will wait for the victim to give the name, then state that is who they have.

The Orange County Sheriff’s Office encourages those receiving calls of this nature to NOT give any details concerning relatives, specifically names. By avoiding giving any names, the suspects/callers will not be able to convince potential victims of the need to wire money. Make note of the cell phone number that called and report this to your local police department.