MINEOLA, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A telephone scam is under investigation on Long Island.

Since Nov. 1, someone has been calling people, telling them a family member has been kidnapped, held hostage or involved in an auto accident, Nassau County police said.

The male caller then demands a payment, usually through Western Union, to save or help the family member, police said.

In three investigations, a threat of serious physical injury against the person being held was used, police said. In all but one case the calls have been made before noon, police said.

Authorities are asking any potential victims to call 911 immediately.

Anyone with information that could lead to the arrest of the person responsible are asked to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS (8477).

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