Philadelphia police warn public of abduction scam

NORTHEAST PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Philadelphia police are warning people to be extra cautious when answering the phone after a man reportedly got a call from a stranger who claimed they kidnapped his wife.

Police say they've seen this type of scam before across the city, and they want people to be aware, because the victim in this case did the right thing.

It started with a phone call just before 11 a.m. Wednesday.

Philadelphia Police Lt. Dennis Rosenbaum explains, "He (the victim) answered the phone, and they told him that they had his wife hostage and demanded he go to bank and take out some money because she was involved in an auto accident."

The suspect wanted the husband to withdraw $2,800 from the Fox Chase Bank on Rhawn Street.

Police say the husband was going to do it.

Rosenbaul says, "At first I think he didn't believe it, but then he heard a female screaming in the background, 'pay them,' which sounded like a female. So, that's what caught him off guard."

But instead, the husband had a friend nearby call police while he talked to the suspect.

Soon after police showed up at his wife's work at Fox Chase Cancer Center.

Lt. Rosenbaum tells us, "She was unharmed and had no idea this was going on."

The scam artists soon realized they were had, and the conversation ended.

Detectives say this is a scam they see from time to time. Their advice is to call police or take the time to contact the person allegedly in danger to make sure they're ok.

Police have no suspects as they continue the investigation.
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