“We have your son, send us $3,000, or else he dies.” This terrifying threat is what a member of the Crown Heights community heard when she picked up the phone one morning earlier this week.
The callers said that they were involved in an automobile accident with her son, and were going to kill him unless she paid $3,000 to cover the damage to their vehicle.
They insisted she wire the money directly to them while they were on the phone. “If you hang up, it’s over,” they threatened.
The frantic mother kept them on the line while she desperately tried to have her bank wire the funds, but to her dismay, she was unable to facilitate the transaction.
When she dropped the call, she feared the worst. She immediately called her son on his cell phone, and was immensely relieved to hear his calm voice, assuring her that he was safe and sound at work.
The women then contacted Crown Heights Shomrim, who got in touch with their affiliates in Williamsburg, Flatbush and Borough Park, as well as the NYPD. The Shomrim affiliates all reported similar occurrences in their respective communities.
Lieutenant Eric Worobey of the 71st Precinct met with Shomrim volunteers Tuesday night, and after comparing notes, it was confirmed that the same scam had been reported to multiple precincts in Queens and Brooklyn.
Shomrim urges members of the community to beware of these malicious scammers and not wire money to them under any circumstances. If they claim to have a loved one, quietly contact him/her and affirm that he/she is okay, then report the incident to the police.
With blessings for a happy, healthy, safe and sweet new year!