San Jose Man Loses $1,500 in 'Spoofing' Incident Reporting a Fake Kidnapping - NBC Bay Area
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San Jose Man Loses $1,500 in 'Spoofing' Incident Reporting a Fake Kidnapping

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kidnapping Scam Hits San Jose

    The scariest 43 minutes of his life. That's how a San Jose community leader is describing a call he got this week, telling him his wife had been kidnapped. And that call appeared to come from his wife's cell phone. Damian Trujillo reports.

    (Published Friday, Oct. 26, 2018)

    A South Bay community leader is warning residents to be cautious after falling for a "spoofing" scam that cost him $1,500.

    Eric Greenwood, who runs a crime watch Facebook page for San Jose's Willow Glen neighborhood, said he recently received a call telling him his wife had been kidnapped. The caller ID on his phone showed the kidnappers were calling from his wife's cell phone.

    "I picked up the phone and there's screaming (and) crying," Greenwood said.

    Greenwood said the caller told him his wife is being held hostage and ordered him to get $1,500 in pre-paid money cards. He followed the instructions, but accidentally hung up during the call while in a panic.

    Greenwood then called his wife back and when she answered and said she was on her way home, he knew he had been scammed. He described the incident the scariest 43 minutes of his life.

    "I probably lost two pounds of water sweating," he said. "I had to try to stay calm."

    Detectives said the scam, spoofing, usually involves the victim wiring money to the fake caller. But this time it included the new twist of asking the victim to buy pre-paid cash cards.

    Greenwood's wife is a real estate agent and during the incident had gone to a listing of a vacant home.

    An investigation into the spoofing incident is ongoing, police said.

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