New scam callers are threatening the safety of family members

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The Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office is warning the public about a scam in which the caller threatens the safety of a family member.

Kelly Jameson with the Sheriff’s Office, said they have received several complaints in the last week about these suspicious phone calls.

During the calls, people say they can hear a woman screaming or crying in the background. People who have received the calls say the caller tells them the woman is a family member and that she is in trouble if they don’t do what the caller says.

Jameson said another caller claimed to be a family member in trouble, needing bail money and funds for car repairs and then asks for a prepaid debit card.

In a separate call, a deputy was called to a home where someone said they had received a call from someone saying they were a family member. The caller said a ransom needed to be paid or he would be killed, Jameson said. The victim reportedly went to take out money from an ATM but the deputy was able to contact the family member who said he was not in danger. The money was never exchanged, Jameson said.

Last month, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office also sent a similar warning about a caller claiming to have relatives hostage.

A spokesperson with the Sheriff’s Office said people have been receiving phone calls from someone demanding money in exchange for information on a relative’s whereabouts or safety.

The Dona Ana Sheriff’s Office says never to make arrangements to meet with anyone who is demanding money or ransom over the phone. If you suspect a family member is in trouble, call the Sheriff’s Office at 575-525-1911 or after hours at 575-526-0795.

In El Paso, deputies are asking to gather as much information as possible if anyone receives these types of calls, then contact the El Paso Police Department’s non-emergency number at 915-832-4400 or the Sheriff’s Office at 915-832-4408.

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