Phone scam sends victims through emotional whirlwind

Photo: The Associated Press

A warning is being sent out in at least three Maryland counties over a new scam that uses your own love against you. It all starts with a phone call that sends the intended victim through an emotional whirlwind.

“I never talked with somebody who spoke like that in my life,” says one man, who prefers to remain anonymous He's scared that whoever called him Saturday morning might come after him.

At 9:30 p.m., a man on the other end of his cell phone asked if Brian had a son or brother and without thinking, Brian told him he had a son. The caller said Brian’s son and his brother had gotten into a car accident.

“And your son tried to call the police and my brother grabbed him, took him to an apartment and is keeping him there,” he says.

The caller then told Brian if he wanted to see his son again he had to send $800 to an address he would give him.

“I quickly figured out it was a scam because my son doesn’t even own a car.”

The number on Brian’s caller ID showed the call was coming from Maryland.

Scammers are able to manipulate your caller ID to look like a local number through a technique called "spoofing." The calls are coming from outside the country.

In the last five days, the scam has been pulled off five times in Montgomery County. Calls were also made to residents in Prince George’s and Saint Mary’s counties. There are similar cases in recent weeks in West Virginia, New Jersey and Miami, Fla.

Anyone who believes they have been scammed should call police immediately.