A Milpitas mother victimized by a kidnapping scam last weekend provided some details about her ordeal in which a stranger called her and threatened to kill her daughter if she didn't wire money to a Mexico location.
The woman unwittingly answered her phone and heard a girl's voice on the other end of the line pleading: “Mom, please help me! Someone grabbed me, and I am in a van."
A man then took the phone and demanded money, saying the screaming girl would be killed if the woman didn’t comply.
"They told me they don't like to kill innocent victims, but they were requesting I do a little something to get her back alive," the woman said.
Believing the girl was her daughter, the victim did as she was told: She drove to Walmart and wired money to a man in Mexico. Throughout the transfer, the man told the woman that the girl would be killed if the police were alerted.
"I tried, tried, tried to call my daughter, and she was not answering her phone," the woman said.
The crooks have been hitting up families all over the Bay Area in the same fashion, claiming to have kidnapped loved ones and demanding money. A woman in Union City was victimized just last month, but police alerted her to the hoax just as she was about to send the money.
Police say the latest victim wired a “small amount” of money to the man, and once the transfer was complete, the man eventually told the woman it was a scam.
"I've caught scams before," the woman said. "I just don't see how anyone could have reacted any differently."
Even after the money was sent, the suspect on the other line told the woman he was going to hold up the $200 receipt to show the woman's daughter how much her life was worth to her mother and then shoot her in the head.
In the end, the woman finally did reach her daughter and learned she was safe.