AUBURN (CBS) – An Auburn mother is the latest local person to experience an elaborate scam victimizing people across the country.
Leslie Waters says she received a disturbing call on Friday telling her that her daughter had been kidnapped.
“It was really, really muffled and hard to hear but it was a young girl’s voice crying out for her mother,” Waters said.
Waters says a man with a foreign accent got on the phone and demanded money from her.
“He called me by name. And he said, ‘I have your daughter and if you do what I say, I won’t kill her,’” she said.
Waters stalled and grabbed her landline phone, calling her husband who was able to listen in on the call. Then, her husband called their daughter’s preschool and verified that she was there.
“I heard him whisper, ‘Put your ear to the phone’ and he said, ‘she’s at school,’” Waters said.
Last week, a Walpole mother experienced a similar scam when a man called her cell phone claiming that her 24-year-old daughter had been kidnapped. Police were able to determine she was actually in Las Vegas on a vacation.
“He said I have your daughter, she’s in the back of my van, and I’m going to kill her,” Patricia Hebner said.
The FBI is sounding an alarm about these so-called “virtual kidnappings.” CBS News reports that many of the cases on the West Coast and along the border involve criminal groups from Mexico.