MONROE, CT — A scam terrified a 67-year-old father into trying to send money to criminals who, he believed, kidnapped his daughter.
The man received a telephone call from someone threatening to harm her unless he sent money via Western Union. A woman pretending to be his daughter could be heard screaming in the background.
The manager of the Rite Aid pharmacy at 508 Monroe Turnpike called police at approximately 12:25 p.m. out of concern, after seeing the man at the Western Union kiosk, where he was talking to someone on his cellphone, who was asking for money.
The manager thought he was the victim of a scam, so she and other store employees refused to help make the transaction go through.
Undeterred, the frantic father left the store and went to CVS to try to send the ransom money from there via Western Union.
Police called the CVS to let staff members know he was coming, as an officer headed to the pharmacy to meet with the victim.
“We were able to contact his daughter, who was somewhere safe,” Police Lt. Michael Sweeney said Friday, adding no money was lost.
Sweeney said this is at least the second report police received of this type of scam in the past month, in which thieves play on victims’ emotions to try to steal their money.
“It’s a scary situation,” he said. “You really think your daughter is in danger and you just do whatever they say. The only thing you’re worried about is the safety of your loved one.”
Those who receive this type of phone call should try to contact their son or daughter, whoever they were told was in danger, to see if they are safe, using a separate phone line if they have to, according to Sweeney, adding they should call police — and never send money.
He said the kidnapping scam is similar to the old scam of a caller saying, “your grandson was in a car accident and is in jail. Please send money here …”
Tractor-trailer holds up traffic
The driver of a tractor-trailer tried to back up onto Garder Road, in an attempt to turnaround on Fan Hill Road early Thursday morning, when the trailer ended up going over an embankment, teetering with its back tires off the ground, according to police.
The truck was stuck and officers responded to the scene around 6 a.m. Nobody was hurt, but police said the road was partially closed for three-to-four hours while the driver waited for a heavy duty tow.