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Police warn of “hostage’ phone scam that threatens victims’ relatives to extort money

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MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Middletown Borough Police are investigating a phone scam involving a fraudulent caller who contacted a Middletown resident from a foreign phone exchange.

According to police, the caller told the intended victim, a senior citizen, that her daughter is being held hostage and threaten to harm her daughter if she did not follow his instructions to the letter. The caller kept the woman on the phone with him as he continued to deliver step by step instructions to her. She was ordered to withdraw money from her bank account and send it immediately to him via western union.

While on the phone the caller, the woman was able to alert the bank teller who notified authorities. While she was about to complete the callers next instructions which included sending a larger amount of money, police were able locate daughter who was safe.

Community members should know that this type of extortion prevalent and is best addressed when federal and local authorities are notified while the incident is progress. Anytime that a person receives a call and is asked in any way to send money you should immediately be suspicious.