Local police wants you to beware of new virtual kidnapping scheme

Crime

A western Massachusetts man almost became the latest victim of a kidnapping scheme that starts with a phone call.

Guy Libardi got the scare of his life Monday when a criminal claimed to have kidnapped his daughter and demanded $20,000 or else…

“‘So I kidnapped her,'” said Libardi. “‘She’s in my car. I’ve already punched her in the face.’ And you could hear a woman, crying really bad,  in the background. He goes ‘and I want you to listen to this’ and he clicked a gun.”

Libardi, who is suffering from Stage 3 lung cancer, described the terrifying call, the same call police want you to be on the lookout for.  

It’s called virtual kidnapping, and its been around for decades and according to law enforcement, the “quick get rich scheme” is on the rise. 

Although virtual kidnapping takes on many different schemes, at the end of the day, its all about the money. And convincing the victim that their loved one is in danger. In return, forcing them to send money.

In Libardi’s case, 20,000, before law enforcement stopped him. 

“I’ve never been so scared in my life,” Libardi told 22News.

“Try to keep on the phone for as long as possible to get information from them without giving any information,” said Milagros Johnson of the Mayor’s Office of Consumer Information in Springfield. “Ask questions, but do not give any information or show any fear.”

“I thought they would have killed her,” Libardi told 22News.

Libardi managed to keep the schemer on the phone for 15 minutes, before realizing it was a hoax. He called police and the FBI called his daughter, who was at work, and just fine.   

“The minute I asked what kind of car my daughter was driving, he hung up,” Libardi said.

Schemers are using social media, so be careful what you post online. 

If you receive one of these calls, hang up and call the police.

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