GREENWICH, Conn. -- Greenwich Police are warning residents to be wary of scam text messages from unknown persons pretending to be "loved ones" and asking for money, according to a release.
On July 12, a Greenwich resident received a text message from an unknown number originating in Puerto Rico, police said. The text message stated that her adult son had been involved in a serious motor vehicle accident and was in need of help.
When she responded to the text, she spoke with a man in Spanish who related that the victim’s son had not been in an accident but had been kidnapped by “escaped convicts,” police said. He then demanded a ransom and threatened to kill the victim’s son if she called the police.
Unfortunately, the victim was unable to immediately contact her son, Greenwich police said. It would take several gut-wrenching hours before the police could verify that her son was fine, that the message was a complete falsehood and that no money had been sent.
This type of scam has been attempted several times across Connecticut this summer, according to police. Each of the scam attempts includes some of the following:
- Loved one is in danger or in a hospital or under arrest.
- The incident occurred overseas or where the subject attends school or where they had been on vacation.
- The money needs to be wired so assistance can be given immediately.
- The call back numbers given to the victim originate out of the country.
- In this instance the scammers included the threat of violence.
"If you receive a call similar to the incident mentioned above or receive a text stating you won the lottery and need to send money to collect the prize, don’t send any money," Greenwich police said in the statement. "You are being scammed and will never see the money again."
Greenwich police remind residents not to respond to text messages or missed calls that come from numbers you don’t recognize. Also, do not give credit card information or online account details over the phone unless you made the call and the phone number came from a trusted source.
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