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Threatening Phone Scams Picking Up Steam

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DENVER (CBS4) – A rattled Denver family has been receiving threatening phone calls warning they owe money and better pay up, but it’s all a scam, and more families are getting those types of phone calls.

In this case the caller had a lot of the victim’s personal information — from bank account information to a Social Security number.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation says about 25 percent of the complaints they’ve received since September deal with the same issue.

For the Sanchez family the calls have been relentless.

“It would be 2 p.m., 2 a.m., midnight, in the afternoon. It didn’t matter. It was all night long,” Rudy Sanchez said.

They always came on Rudy Sanchez’s cell phone and they kept getting more threatening.

“You have 2 1/2 hours to send $788,” Sanchez said the caller told him.

The caller claimed the Sanchez family owed money for a cash advance loan. A loan they say they never took out.

“I said, ‘Can you please tell me my loan number? If I got a loan 2 months ago, can you give it to me?’ He refused.”

The Sanchez family did apply for a loan for a 2011 Nissan Altima in October. They filled out an application online to prequalify, and then shared their bank information once at the dealership. It’s information the threatening caller had.

“The guy did know my bank account and he did know my Social Security number.”

The Sanchez family bank account has since been compromised and money has been withdrawn.

When CBS4 checked the phone numbers from the threatening callers online, the numbers were flagged by other people claiming to be victims calling it “a very scary new sort of scam phone call” made by a person with the “same broken English.” And it said “if you ever applied for a loan online” that’s likely how they got your information.

Sanchez regrets filling out the online application. He said they should have dealt with someone face to face.

CBS4 talked with the general manager of the car dealership Sanchez used. He assured CBS4 all online information is secure.

It’s not clear how the scammers got their information, but the family has notified their bank and the three credit reporting agencies.

They plan to file reports with the Denver Police Department and the CBI.

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