At least three East End residents have received anonymous text messages and graphically violent photos from an unknown person who threatens to hurt them if they do not hand over money, according to the Southampton Police Department.
The texts, which are in Spanish and appear to be random, contain graphic images of an execution-style murder and brutal mutilation, said Lt. Susan Ralph.
The messages stated the resident would be harmed if he or she didn't send the money, Ralph said. The sender does not ask for a specific amount and does not say how to transfer the money, she said.
“The implied threat is, ‘We know who you are and where you work,’” Ralph said.
Two individuals in Southampton have received the texts and a third in Southold, Ralph said. None have complied with the demands, she said.
Law enforcement officials suspect that others may have received similar text messages and urge the public to report the incidents to their local law enforcement agency and to not send any money to those making demands.
The three East End cases may also be connected to a fourth case in Brooklyn last month where a man said he received a call from a stranger who threatened to kill him and his family if he didn’t send the person money, according to a news report. The call was followed by a text message of mangled and blood-covered individuals.
The man did not pay the extortion threat and instead brought the information to former Assemb. Dov Hikind and to the NYPD.