, Salem, MA

February 28, 2013

Police: Scammer claimed man was kidnapped

By Neil H. Dempsey
Staff Writer

---- — SALEM — A Department of Transitional Assistance employee told police yesterday that she’d received a phone call saying her husband had been kidnapped.

The call came from an unknown man with a blocked number on the woman’s cellphone around 1:15 p.m. He told her that he and his “associates” were involved in a motor vehicle accident with her husband, whom he identified by name, according to the incident log.

“The party went on to state that he could not go to the police about the accident and was holding her husband against his will,” police wrote.

The man demanded $1,000 from the woman as compensation for the accident.

The woman told police that she was confused about the story from the caller, since her husband takes public transportation to and from work. She became confident that it was a scam when she spoke with him and he said he hadn’t been involved in any incidents.

Police also spoke to the husband and determined that he “did not sound to be under any duress.”

An officer contacted the state police after learning that the Boston office of the Department of Transitional Assistance had recently encountered a similar incident but determined that they “do not appear related.”

Police have no suspects.