Life
Call from stranger takes dark turn when they tell woman they have her husband & threaten his life
Kerrie was expecting an important call at the time so she answered the call from an unknown number but never did she imagine it would lead to such a frightening conversation.
Sasha Alonzo
07.22.22

It’s a good rule of thumb to exercise caution when answering a call from an unknown number.

Crooks have devised a lot of ways to exploit and scam others via the technology we use daily. From email scams, text scams, and phishing, if they can contact you, they’ll most likely make a crime out of it.

Pexels - Porapak Apichodilok
Source:
Pexels - Porapak Apichodilok

Ransom scam

One such scam is the “ransom scam”. It’s a phone call from an anonymous person claiming that they have your loved one in custody. The reasons can vary from blatant kidnapping, a claim for damages that never happened, or maybe someone who poses as an agency where your loved one “owes” money.

One such scam happened to a North Carolina Woman.

An answered call

Kerrie Carter received a phone call from an anonymous person. She was expecting an important call at that time so she answered it.

Pexels - Alexander Mils
Source:
Pexels - Alexander Mils

“I was expecting a call from my doctor, so I did pick up the call… it was area code 704 in the area of Charlotte… so I felt like okay, I have to pick up this call,” said Carter to FOX 46.

But when she picked up the phone, it wasn’t her doctor. Instead, she heard the voice of her husband, and it sounded like he was somewhat crying or ‘choking up.’

Suddenly, the call took a dark turn.

“Someone grabs the phone and all of a sudden it turns to this other guy goes… ma’am I just want you to know I have your husband.. there has been an accident and he was at the wrong place at the wrong time,” said Carter to the news outlet.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte

Panic took over

Hearing your loved one in danger can rattle people, and this is how the scam gets their victims. They play on people’s worries. They make the danger sound so real that they give in.

Fortunately, Carter was much more cautious.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte

Trying to remain calm

When the scammer threatened her that they would kill her husband, Carter instead asked a friend to record their call.

She was almost driven to tears but she kept her composure.

The scammer used the most common lines in this line of fraud. They told her not to talk to anybody or discuss the details with anyone. They also told her not to hang up or something bad would happen to her husband.

“At this point, I’m almost driven to tears and I’m still asking where is my husband and I need to speak to a police officer. I’m not speaking to you anymore, I need to speak to a police officer,” said Carter to FOX 46.

Eventually, the crook hung up.

She received a call from her husband soon after where she was assured that he was alive and well. If not for her quick thinking and composure, the scammer might’ve gotten ransom money off her.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte

What to do if you find yourself in this situation

The National Institutes of Health reminded people of what to do during these situations. Possible indications of fraud are numbers bearing area codes outside where you are. They also don’t come from the victim’s phone and scammers will do their best to keep you on the line.

If you receive a call like this, keep your wits about you and ask the right questions. Ask them to describe your loved one, most especially what they’re wearing or the kind of car they have. Call your loved ones as well and see if they are really okay. Lastly, file a report to the police.

YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - FOX 46 Charlotte

Added precautions are setting your social media accounts to private since information on these sites can be used to make you believe that the scam is real.

Carter would’ve been another statistic.

But thanks to her reaction and her friend, they were able to thwart the scammer.

Fortunately, as more of these scams are exposed, the public will be much more aware and can stop these criminals from making victims out of them.

Watch the video below to hear the full story. We’re grateful Carter wasn’t exploited.

Please SHARE this with your friends and family.

By Sasha Alonzo
hi@sbly.com
Sasha Alonzo is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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