Manchester Police Department officials are warning the public of a recent scam attempt that turned aggressive and dangerous. Authorities also have advice for how you can avoid the same fate.
Recently, a female who police are identifying as a scammer contacted an elderly Manchester resident (Thunder Radio has chosen not to identify the intended victim, but will use the last name of “Jones” for purposes of this story.). When the intended victim’s daughter heard her mother on the phone, she was suspicious of the call and, according to authorities, the daughter took the phone away from Miss Jones and told the scammer they “were a piece of ***T” and hung up the phone.
Apparently feeling disrespected, at this point the scammer actually plotted revenge on her intended victim. After being hung up on, the scammer then called the Coffee County Communications Center and claimed to be Miss Jones. According to the communications tape (which was heard by Thunder Radio), the scammer told dispatchers that she was in fact Miss Jones, provided the proper address and claimed that her husband was trying to get in her house and kill her with a knife.
This call prompted an emergency response from multiple Manchester Police Department officers who were expecting a severe domestic violence situation. Instead, they found a confused Miss Jones in no distress whatsoever. Luckily, no one was injured during the response.
“At first, we were very confused by this,” explained Manchester Police Department Chief Investigator Brandon Tomberlin. “We thought maybe we were at the wrong house.”
The scammer later called back and dispatchers connected her with Tomberlin, who was able to figure out that the caller was in fact not Miss Jones and appeared to be a scammer by her description of surroundings. The scammer then changed her story and claimed to be calling from “Manchester Town” and not Manchester.
With his persistence, Tomberlin eventually got the scammer to admit that the call was a prank as revenge because Miss Jones “misbehaved” with her on the phone.
“She misbehaved with me,” the scammer said, while remaining adamant that her call was about insurance was not a scam. “I was taking revenge.” (listen to a portion of Tomberlin’s call with the scammer below).
What is to be taken from all of this? Tomberlin urges citizens to NOT irritate a potential scammer on the other end of the phone.
“It’s important for people to know .. do not get in a debate with them,” stated Tomberlin. “If you think you have a scammer on the other end of the phone, simply hang up.”
Tomberlin added that he is grateful that no one was hurt.
“Our officers are going to that scene expecting someone with a knife trying to do someone harm. We are lucky it turned out OK.”
Tomberlin suspects that the scammer is not located in the United States.