ST. LOUIS – A phone scammer messed with the wrong family and is now serving prison time.

The FBI can catch more bad guys with your help. We’ve all picked up that scam phone call. You may have thought there was no chance of catching the bad guy. One family recently proved that doubt to be wrong.

“You can get these guys. We did get these guys,” Lynda Webster said. “There’s a man sitting in jail for 71 months. We got him and the FBI is going to get more of them.”

Lynda and her husband, William Webster, formerly of Webster Groves, now live in Washington D.C., where they have a message about phone scams.

“Good citizens trying to enjoy the benefits of citizenship are challenged by people who want money, and this is what they’re trying to get by with extortion,” William said. “We want to meet that threat.”

Webster is proof that anyone can be targeted. He’s a former director of both the FBI and CIA. A caller told him he would receive a large prize if he just paid $50,000 in taxes first.

A caller, later identified as Keniel Thomas, said at the time, “The total value of the award is about $72 million.”

Lynda heard the call and intervened. Lynda explained that she told the person on the phone, “Do you know who he is? And he continued to try scamming him.”

The phone call then took a frightening turn. The Websters recorded the call as proof.

“You seem to be playing around and you don’t know who am I,” the caller said. “So listen. I am not giving you any more warning. I am just going to send out my guys. And listen. Anytime you put back yourself in Washington, D.C., you will be killed. With a sniper. I know your home.”

Young people are also increasing targets of scams with cryptocurrency scams and romance scams.

“If people would just record their interactions with scammers, that would help the FBI know who’s being affected and perhaps trace where these people are working,” Lynda said.

“They also need to know that their elders are likely being targeted now so we need to protect each other – so if the young people could perhaps listen to the other end of the phone as I did with Bill.”

The caller in this instance had reportedly stolen about $300,000 before the FBI caught him. He’s now serving a 6-year prison sentence.

The FBI has a special web page: IC3.GOV. You can also call 800-CALL-FBI to help crack down on this fraud.