Glenwood, IA (KPTM, CNN) — Candy McCormick has tendinitis. That requires her to wear a foot brace and there’s now surgery to think about. That wasn’t all she was thinking about, however, earlier this week.
“My phone went off and I was like, oh, I better answer that.”
A phone call seemingly from her daughter immediately put her on edge.
“Clearly, I could hear a girl say ‘mom, they’re kidnapping me.’ She also wanted me to do what they say.”
The phone call only lasted for about half of a minute, but McCormick says it felt like an eternity.
“I was terrified. You just want to know if your kid is okay.”
It turns out the person on the other end wasn’t her daughter. McCormick says after hanging up she found out her daughter was safe and sound at home. A simple phone call cleared that up right away.
“I was relieved, but I was still terrified.”
McCormick is now warning others about what happened. Across the country, what she experienced is known as a virtual kidnapping scam. It’s an attempt by con artists to fish out sensitive details about your family and leave you in a vulnerable position.
“Take it seriously to a point because you never know, but make sure your loved one is okay first.”
Because she didn’t fall for the scam, McCormick thinks it saved her family thousands of dollars.
If you get one of these phone calls, authorities say you should avoid sharing personal information about you or your family during the call. Also, ask questions only your loved one would know. You’re also urged to call law enforcement as soon as you get a chance. That could be to a sheriff’s office or FBI office.
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