Frightening phone kidnapping scam hits Humble

HUMBLE, TX (KTRK) -- Humble police are warning residents about a new scam involving a false kidnapping claim delivered via phone.

A woman who asked to be called Hayley nearly fell victim to the scam. She received phone call from a a 281 number, so she thought it might be a work call. It instantly turned her life upside down.

The caller initially pretended to be a paramedic, saying her father, a well-known doctor, was in a car accident.

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"This situation could have been real, it was so real," said Hayley. The former NFL cheerleader says the caller quickly changed the story, saying her father struck a teenager and the teen's father was demanding money for medical bills.

"It went from 'Oh my gosh, my dad has passed,' to now I'm in charge of saving my dad's life," said Hayley.

If she didn't pay, they said her father was in danger.
"Pull out $100 at a time. Take that out and put my card back in and pull out another $100, wait a little bit and take out $200," said Hayley.

She says the caller knew a lot of details about her, even describing the situation near her father's work and threatening to hurt the rest of her family. "At the end of the day, you'd rather give everything you have than lose a family member," said Hayley.

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Her boss was in the car with her. "It was very believable, and I think what made it so believable was the caller prefaced it with, 'It's a motor vehicle accident with one of your loved ones.' Anyone instantly is attached to that situation at that point," the woman said.

She called 911 and helped locate Hayley's father, finding out he was actually safe.

Humble Police are investigating and say this is becoming a prominent scam. The callers try to keep you on the phone as long as possible so you can't verify what they are claiming. They say hang up immediately.
It was a nightmare Hayley wants to warn others about. "It was the worst thing I've experienced in my life."
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