Phone Scam Claims Loved Ones Are Being Held Hostage

| by Maura Turcotte

A Wisconsin woman recently experienced a mother's worst nightmare when a caller said her daughter was being held hostage and would be murdered if she did not pay the ransom.

The call proved to be a scam.

The mother, who asked not to be identified, received the harrowing phone call last week. Providing just enough information to make the call sound legitimate, the scammer told the woman her daughter had been involved in a car accident and was now being held hostage, reports WISN12.

“(He said) the accident had damaged his brother's car, and his brother and he were running from the law, so they couldn't involve the police, and they wanted $3,000,” the mother told WISN12.

After the woman talked to both men for nearly 30 minutes, their threats escalated.

“Then they said they were going to rape her. (That) I wasn't moving fast enough. They wanted me to get to Western Union,” she said.

Luckily, the woman contacted her brother for help before she gave any money to the callers. While her brother notified the police, someone contacted her daughter and confirmed that she was not being held hostage, reports TheBlaze.

“Most traumatic 28 minutes that I’ve ever been involved in,” said the mother.

While the woman was lucky to have not given in to the demands of the scammers, one other family was not so lucky. With their phones tied up by the scammers, the family could not check to see if their loved one was actually being held hostage and so they paid $1,500, WISN12 reports.

After these few incidents, police are asking people to check the numbers of the phone calls they receive to make sure they know them.

“If you don't recognize the number, screen the call, let it go to your voicemail,” Hartland Police Chief Robert Rosch said. Scammers, he noted, "can sit in some basement somewhere or some foreign country and make believe this is a legitimate call coming to you.”

Sources: TheBlaze, WISN12 / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons