'It was just so believable.' Westport police warn of uptick in phone scams

A local mother who wishes to remain anonymous told News 12 she received a call Thursday from what sounded like her daughter, saying she got into a car accident.

Mar 24, 2023, 4:38 PM

Updated 384 days ago

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Police in Westport are warning residents of an uptick in phone scams.
"Recently, we've had a lot more people going to the banks and trying to take out money," Lt. Eric Woods said. "Three confirmed where we've gone and talked with victims after and prevented them from sending money."
A local mother who wishes to remain anonymous told News 12 she received a call Thursday from what sounded like her daughter, saying she got into a car accident.
The woman says a man then got on the phone claiming her daughter hit his pickup truck.
"He then proceeded to say I have drugs in the car, so I don't need a police officer coming to the scene," the woman recalled.
The caller then stated because the daughter took pictures of his truck, he was going to hold her hostage unless the mother gave him $10,000.
In a panic, the woman says she headed to M&T Bank on Post Road East in Westport to withdraw the cash. She says while still on the phone, she slipped the teller a note asking the teller to call her daughter. The teller got in touch with the daughter, who said she was safe, and the manager contacted police.
"I just really thought that I wasn't going to see my daughter again," the woman said. "I consider myself pretty street savvy. I'm always warning my kids about safeguarding your information. This really was like, so real."
Woods said in each of the recent cases, the victims eventually realized they were being scammed.
"The banks are really stepping up their game and asking more questions than just going through with the transaction," Woods explained.
Woods advises residents to stay calm if they receive similar calls.
"If these people are going to tell you don't text or call anybody, go directly to the bank, that's your first clue to call your family, call police," Woods said.
Woods says the same people are likely behind the calls.
"Identifying and finding them are very hard," Woods said. "But report it, even if you don't think we're going to find anybody. So we know what's going on, so we can bring attention to it."


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