A man, who does not wish to be identified, was contacted by a group of fake kidnappers informing him that they had kidnapped his wife and needed to divulge all his personal information. The ‘kidnappers’ were then able to empty the man’s bank account.
The scoundrels had called the man, informing him that they had kidnapped his wife, threatening to kill her unless the man did as they asked.
The man is situated in Anchorage, Alaska, USA, and is the latest victim of a stream of phone scams which the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) said was on the rise.
The luckless man was contacted last week while at work. Receiving a telephone call from a number that looked like it was coming from his wife’s telephone number and was led to believe the callers had his wife in custody and were going to rape and kill her if he didn’t comply with their demands.
According to the KTVA news, after hearing a woman he believed was his wife screaming, he followed an elaborate set of directions and aggressive demands.
The man was instructed to remove money from his account, buy numerous gift cards and give them the numbers over the phone, as well as give out his credit card details.
The man was reportedly keeping a number of people abreast of his plight via notes, including his co-workers, bank employees, and the police, however he and his wife, ended up losing all their savings to the thieves.
“I withdrew the money myself,” the man said.
“I basically robbed myself … I hadha situation that I believed was absolutely real.”
While he was on the phone with the scammers, officers told the husband that they had reached his wife and that she was safe.
“Finally I was really beginning to lose patience, so I started asking them: “I want to speak to my wife, I want to speak to my wife — I’m not doing anything else until I speak to my wife.’ And at that point, they hung up, and the ordeal was over,” the man said.
This type of faked kidnapping scheme has become very common in America, news outlet’s reports.
The FBI and other law enforcement agencies point out that the success of these virtual kidnapping schemes depends on the level of fear of the victim and the speed of the scam.
The FBI suggest trying to delay the process, asking the kidnappers questions to gain as much information as you can and to buy time.
You either get them to call you back or ask them to call you back. This can help to buy you time to alert the authorities and confirm the whereabouts and status of your loved ones.
The best course of action, says the FBI, is to hang up the phone.