Life threatening phone scam

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Nearly every day Kansas First News hears about new phone and internet scams. The other day, one caught our attention because it involved an actual physical threat to a Topeka man.

For the past few days Bob Onek has been receiving threatening phone calls to his cell phone. He says the caller told him to give them half a million dollars or they’ll burn his house down.

“And the worst problem is, they know who they’re calling because they’ll ask by name, they can’t pronounce it but they will ask by name,” Onek said.

The phone calls have been coming from phone numbers which either don’t exist or in some cases from Jamaica and at all times of the day and night.

“The old fashion crooks, who are as old as humankind, who want to swindle people out of their money now can reach right into somebody’s home without ever showing up on this continent,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said.

If someone’s calling you with a deal that’s too good to be true then it’s probably a scam. To avoid becoming a victim the Attorney General says don’t answer calls you don’t recognize.

“If you answer and realize quickly it’s not somebody you already know and trust just hang up on them there’s no requirement to be polite,” Schmidt said.

Never give out personal or financial information; social security numbers, birth dates, bank numbers.

While physical threats are rare, this is just the latest twist on dozens of phone scams which leave people like Onek worried and frustrated.

“Insulted, walked over,” Onek said.

The attorney general says if you receive threatening phone calls yourself, you should call your local law enforcement to report it.

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