Officers warn of a scam disguised as a blackmail letter

BOAZ, Ala. -- Police are getting the word out about something they say is a scam disguised as a blackmail letter. It's making its way around the United States and here in Alabama, just south of us, in Mountain Brook.

Boaz Police officers noticed the trend through a warning from the Mountain Brook Police Department, and officers are getting the word out locally before it makes its way here. "Basically it just looked to me like it was a letter sent out to that person trying to extort money from them, alleging that they knew that person was involved in something that they shouldn't have been involved with," Chief Josh Gaskin said.

Officers described it as a blackmail letter. It doesn't have a sender's name, and it's mailed locally to the recipient. "Making threats to notify their wife, colleagues, family members if they didn't send an undisclosed amount of money to that person," Gaskin explains.

All of the letters are the same, except the recipient's name and address. The letter explains how to send money to the sender to stop the so-called 'secrets' from getting out.

Officers in other areas of the state are seeing this type of letter. Gaskin says if officers in other departments are seeing a trend, more often than not, it turns up locally. "Especially if [the scams] work somewhere else, you're going to have people who try it in other places," Gaskin added.

Officers say it's another elaborate way thieves have come up with to take your money. If you receive a letter or come in contact with any other scam for that matter, call your local law enforcement agency.