BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Police say they have recently been contacted by residents who received text messages accusing them of soliciting prostitutes and threatening to kill them or their family unless they’re paid.
The text messages came from non-local area codes, police said, and investigators determined this is a scam where the person making the threats obtained the victims’ information through public records and internet searches. A photo of graphic violence is sent with the threat, and police said they discovered that photo has been on the internet since 2016 and originates from outside the U.S.
Police urge anyone who receives the text messages to not provide bank account information, personal identifying information or conduct wire transfers.
Anyone who has been a victim of this scam can make an online report at the Bakersfield Police Department portal at www.bakersfieldcity.us.