Scam fails, leads to bomb threat



An attempted phone scam that quickly bombed led to a bomb threat against a Dillon resident late last week, according to local police.

On the afternoon of May 27, an unidentified person dialed a Dillon resident and told him that he had won a large lottery prize, according to Dillon Police Chief Paul Craft, who said the Dillon resident was then told he needed to send the caller money so the prize money could be forwarded to him.

“When the local individual questioned the caller about it being a scam,” said Craft, “the caller got irate and told him he was going to blow up his house and his dog.”

The Dillon resident who received the call then hung up and called the Dillon Police, whose headquarters stand within a few blocks of the targeted individual’s residence.

Craft praised the quick thinking and actions of the intended victim, and said anyone who finds himself targeted by a suspected phone scammer should do the same and immediately hang up and call local police.

Craft said a subsequent investigation revealed the phone scam call had originated from a web-based phone in Kingston, Jamaica, that proved impossible to trace the precise location of.

The Dillon Police receive a lot of reports of phone scams originating from Kingston, according to Craft, who cautioned against giving out any personal or financial information over the phone to unknown individuals.

“Be very careful about what information you give out over the phone, especially to someone who has called you,” said Craft. “If you don’t initiate a call, don’t give out any information.

“Don’t give out your Social Security number or birth date  or bank account information or even the name of the bank you bank at if you didn’t make the call and aren’t familiar with person you’re talking to,” said Craft.

“We get quite a lot of reports of these scams involving someone claiming to be a grandchild who needs to get bailed out of jail or someone calling to tell a person he has won the lottery and needs to send $150 so the millions can be sent to him.“

But Craft said that until last week, he had never received a report of a thwarted phone scammer threatening to blow up someone’s house.

“This is a first,” said Craft.