Scammers threaten to kill San Diego grandmother - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Scammers threaten to kill San Diego grandmother

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By News 8 Reporter Craig McKee

KEARNY MESA (CBS 8) - There's a CrimeFighters Alert about a scam involving $1 million and death threats.

The scams evolve and they go where they can find the most profits. For an elderly woman in San Diego County, that meant a call out of the blue on her cell phone saying she was a new millionaire.

Connie Newell, 79, says she got a call on her cell phone from a man telling her she's won $1 million. All she needed to do was send him $100 to cash in. And when she hung up, that's when things turned ugly.

"She received death threats as a result of her refusal to fall for the scam," San Diego Sheriff's Dept. Sgt. Mark Varnau said.

This same scam is pointed out on the FBI's website.

"While it's nice to think you did win a prize out of the blue, you should be suspicious when you get those types of emails and calls," Jenny Shearer of the FBI said.

Shearer says even the FBI can only help so much when it comes to internet and phone based scams from overseas.

"We can work with investigators in that country to raise awareness of the problem and perhaps pursue the appropriate investigative actions," Shearer said.

There are websites to check things out for yourself.. Snopes.com is a popular one, or LooksTooGoodToBeTrue.com, which is affiliated with the FBI. And if you've been called or emailed from a scammer, head to IC3.gov and report it.

"Investigate, don't invest," Varnau said. "As soon as you're identified as someone whose going to fall for these types of scams, you're now going to become a pigeon and be victimized by multiple suspects."

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