SECAUCUS, N.J.(CBSNewYork) — It has been a popular scam in the past several years. Con artists have called unsuspecting people claiming a relative is in trouble and needs money wired immediately.

Thomas told WCBS-880’s Levon Putney rushed to the police desk window on Thursday morning, in Secaucus and said someone called him at work claiming that they kidnapped his brother.

“And if I didn’t wire him money, he was holding my brother at gunpoint and was going to end his life,” he said.

Thomas said he got nervous, but stopped and thought for a second

“First, I asked him to describe what my brother looked like,” he said.

The caller refused to put Thomas’ brother on the phone and threatened to kill him if he hung up. Thomas gave a coworker his brother’s cell phone number and he answered.

“So that’s when I knew it was a scam,” Thomas said, “They cause you to act without thinking, and they create a fear in the person.”

Wyckoff Police Chief Benjamin Fox has seen a lot of these cases in the past few years.

“Be smart, think about it,” he said, “Don’t give any information out.”

Authorities said that within the past few weeks one person lost $270 in this kind of scam.



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