Scammer makes graphic threats to Panola County sheriff’s 10-year-old son

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PANOLA COUNTY, Miss. — Panola County Sheriff Shane Phelps has a warning for parents after his 10-year-old son was threatened by a man he believes to be a scammer.

Phelps said his son received an unsolicited call Thursday from a man with a foreign accent who pressed his son for sensitive information.

“If he gave this person his Social Security number then he’d get a $10,000 loan,” Phelps said.

Sensing it was a scan, Phelps said his son decided to hang up, but before he could, the alleged scammer made a graphic threat.

“He told my son that he would come to the house, kill his mom and daddy, cut our heads off and rape him,” Phelps said.

The call came from an upstate New York area code, but because virtually any number can be spoofed these days, it’s almost impossible to track.

“The best defense that we’re gonna have is the parents monitoring that phone,” said James K. Smith, chief investigator at the sheriff’s office.

Smith said it’s best to avoid answering calls from numbers you don’t recognize.

“If you didn’t reach out to that company and someone is calling you asking you for some information be very leary, very leery ’cause nine times out of ten it is some type of scam,” said Smith.

Phelps said he reported the call to the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office and then called the alleged scammer and informed him.

“‘Oh, don’t, don’t,’ he begged and I finally just hung up on him,” Phelps said.

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