Authorities want victims of hostage scam to step forward, At Least Three Cases Now in Bay Area

9:31 AM, Sep 7, 2012   |    comments
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Tampa, Florida - Officials with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office are asking people to step forward if they think they've been victims of a fake hostage scam. As one more person has come forward, a total of three cases have occurred in the Bay area so far.

Previous Story: Kidnapped relative scams on the rise

Laurie is one of those victims. She said she got a call from a man with a Hispanic accent who claimed that her husband had hit his car, they'd gotten into a fight, and her husband had been taken hostage. She was told she would have to pay $1,000 to see him again.

"I was kind of flipping out. I'm thinking, is this real? Could this really be happening?" said Laurie.

Laurie said the caller told her to go to a Western Union, not talk to anyone, and not get off the phone. 

Laurie, however, was eventually able to get a neighbor to call her husband. It turns out, he was just fine.

"It went from horror to anger. I was so angry that they put me through that," said Laurie.

It's a similar story law enforcement across the Bay Area have been hearing about for weeks. 

On Tuesday, 10 News told you about a Temple Terrace man who said a caller claimed his son was taken hostage. He wired $2,000, then found out his son was never in any danger. 

Wednesday, we told you about the same thing happening to a Tampa woman and her son.

Authorities with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office said there are a lot of similarities in the three cases and are working to identify suspects. 

They add, there are several phone numbers they are following up on.

Again, if you think you may have gotten a call about this scam, contact authorities.

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