Six people report similar phone scam in Palm Beach County since August

Scammer said family member was in trouble

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Casey Gates is unsettled when her phone rings. She worries whoever terrorized her last month, may try again.

"He knew stuff, he knew what my dad was wearing, what car he drove. That's what made me think he had my dad," said Gates.

The caller claimed he was in a car accident with her father and wouldn't drive him to the hospital unless she paid $2,000. Unable to reach her father by phone, Casey thought the worst. 

"I was crying, screaming. It feels like it was yesterday, I think about it all the time," said Gates.

Using another person's phone, Casey called 911. She realized it was a scam and that her father was safe. Casey is one of six people in Palm Beach County victimized in this was in the last two months.

The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office tied the incidents together, because the scammer used the same phone number and name, "Johnathan Rodriguez".

Investigators are still trying to track the number, but haven't made any arrests. That makes Casey and her family feel vulnerable.

"We all look over our shoulder, we're cautious. It concerns me that someone is following my family," said Mary Beth Gates, Casey's mother.

Deputies say the scammer hasn't been able to get any money from anyone. 

If you get a similar phone call you're urged to get as much contact information as you can and a phone number.  Try and verify that information with law enforcement.

Investigators say never pay any money.

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