Darien Parent Falls Victim to Kidnapping Phone Scam

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    Police said the parent of a Darien High School student recently fell victim to a phone scam in which the caller said the student had been kidnapped after a crash involving gang members and demanded money.

    According to police, the parent paid $1,800. Police received reports of two other scam calls on Wednesday but said the targeted residents did not hand over any money.

    Police said the caller will claim that the victim’s child was involved in a crash involving gang members and is being held at gunpoint. The scammer demands money to pay for damage to the gang members’ car and instructs the victim to drive to an ATM while remaining on the line.

    The caller warns against contacting police and threatens to torture the child who has been allegedly kidnapped, police said. Ultimately, the victim is told to wire over money.

    Law enforcement believes the calls have been coming from outside the U.S. and that the wired money will never be recovered.

    Authorities warn against giving out personal or family information over the phone. Police encourage would-be victims to try to identify the location of the caller and ask him or her to describe the child in question.

    Residents who have been targeted by this kind of scam should write down the scammer’s phone number, keep from panicking and call police immediately.