Kidnapping scam targets panicked parents in SWFL

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FORT MYERS, Fla.- Scammers are preying on parents with calls claiming to have kidnapped their children.

A Fort Myers mother says she received a call early in the morning from an unknown number. When she picked up, the caller told her in a muffled voice, “I have your son.”

“My heart dropped, I thought I was going to be sick.”

Instead of talking to the caller, she immediately hung up and called her son’s school. The administration verified he was okay. Then the mother called the Lee County Sheriff’s Office.

“Instead of panicking and following instructions of what the caller wanted, she contacted the school to make sure her child was okay,” said Beth Schell, with the Lee County Sheriff’s Fraud Department. “That was the very best thing to do.”

The sheriff’s office confirmed it was a scam and the caller was out of the country.

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