- Associated Press - Friday, February 19, 2016

CAMDEN, N.J. (AP) - Police say hoax phone calls are being sent out in southern New Jersey in which residents are told that their family members will be harmed if they fail to fork over money.

Camden police say they’ve received more than a dozen complaints since Jan. 24 of scammers sending threatening phone calls and texts. The numbers use an “856” area code.

Cleophus Robinson says he received a text message from a random number saying his daughter was in a bad car accident.

Robinson called the number and a man on the other end claiming to be a Colombian criminal said he was holding Robinson’s daughter hostage and ordered the Camden father to pay $500.

Robinson says he called his daughter’s work phone and she told him she was safe.

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