Julie was handed a threatening note on the train, so she used a tactic she'd seen on TV.

When California woman Julie Dragland was threatened on a train on her way home it was thanks to her quick-thinking that she walked away with her life – and her wallet.

Dragland had boarded the Daly City train when a person in dark clothing sat behind her and handed her a threatening note.

“There are 2 guns pointed at you now,” it began.

“If you want to live hand back your wallet + phone NOW + do not turn around and be descreet (sic). Do not turn around until after you have left Civic Center + you will live.”

Julie posted the note to Twitter. (Image via Twitter.)

Scared, but not panicking, Dragland tried out a tactic she has seen work in an episode of crime procedure TV series Law and Order. She faked a seizure.

"I was terrified and then I started to be like, is somebody really going to shoot someone for a phone and a wallet? I don’t know. I started to question it a little bit, but I was still really scared," she told CBS San Francisco.

"So I… if I fake a seizure or fake like I’m passing out, I’m not even not complying.

"I’m scared and reacting so, I started slumped over to the left and started shaking and people started to notice and they’re like, 'Are you okay? Are you okay?'"

And it worked perfectly. The would-be attacker, who Dragland later described to police as an older woman, quickly exited the train.