SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

January 9, 2013

Police: Scammer demands $100K fine

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — A lot of phone scams involve relatively modest amounts of money.

For instance, one scam reported to local police on Dec. 18 involved $450. One the week before was for $350. A Foster Street man reported one in September for just $20.

But a Malone Drive woman told police on Tuesday that she’d received a phone call from a man claiming to be an agent from the FDA’s crime investigation division — saying she owed a fine for “smuggling narcotics from Puerto Rico into the U.S.”

Total fine: $100,000.

The man warned the woman that “they would arrive at her home and place her under arrest” if she didn’t cooperate and pay the amount, according to the incident log.

Police tried to call the man back, but the call went to voice mail. After checking her for warrants, they advised the woman to contact them if she received any further calls or saw anything suspicious near her home.