Va. woman receives virtual kidnapping scam call claiming father taken hostage
MARSHALL, Va. - A Fauquier County woman recorded a scam artist at work Monday when a man called her alleging he was holding her father hostage and saying she had to pay thousands of dollars to save his life.
Amber Huizar's cousin was in the car with her when she got the call from a Texas number. Huizar's parents live in Texas and the man on the line said her dad had just been involved in a hit-and-run accident. The man said Huizar's father had hit his son and tried to flee the scene.
"He said, 'Someone is going to have to pay for what your father did and the charges for my son's hospital bills,'" Huizar said.
Her cousin recorded part of the call.
"If you want us to let him go and you want to see him again, you are going to do this correctly," the man on the line said. "Are you understanding, Amber?"
He told her that her father had been beaten up and was unconscious, and if she called police or if anyone called her father's cell phone, that he would be shot in the head.
"I'm shaking, I'm trying not to cry, and my parents are in Texas, so I can't go right down the street to check on anybody." Huizar said.
The caller instructed her to wire him $4,000 to save her father, Richard.
"If anyone tries to contact the police, you know what is going to happen to Richard," the caller can be heard saying. "What you are going to do is, you are going to go to your house, you are going to go to the safe, you are going get money, and I am going to explain to you how to wire the money."
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Huizar said her cousin stopped recording and called Huizar's mother in Texas to see if her dad was okay. Her mother ended up leaving her job when she could not get a hold of her husband. Eventually, they tracked down Huizar's father and confirmed he was fine. No one wired any money, but the family was shaken by the situation.
"It was just horrific for me, honestly," Huizar said. "It ruined my entire day, and I couldn't think. And I was just like, 'People need to know this stuff can happen.'"