STAMFORD - A Stamford woman is warning others about a terrifying phone call that had her worrying about whether her son's life was in danger.

Laura Schwartz says a man called her cellphone while she was at work and claimed that her 17-year-old son had been involved in a car accident. The caller, whose number didn't show up on Schwartz's phone, then said he was holding the teen hostage and would kill him unless Schwartz gave him $2,000.

"He says, 'Listen lady, I'm giving you 30 seconds. You better get in your car. I'm going to kill your son,'" Schwartz says.

A coworker who overheard the conversation called Schwartz's husband, who confirmed that the teen was safe and sound.

Schwartz was relieved. "I just fell apart," she says. "I mean, I literally was sitting on the floor of my office just crying."

Police say scammers often try to tug at victims' heartstrings by saying a family member is in trouble.