Utah father Jeff Weber was driving his work vehicle when his phone rang. At first decided not to answer the unknown number, but when the caller tried again, he picked up. What he heard changed his life in an instant.
On the other end of the line, Jeff heard the sounds of a young girl crying. “Daddy, daddy,” she said, “I’m scared.”
A second later, a man came to the phone and told Jeff he had kidnapped Jeff’s 13-year-old daughter, and if he ever wanted to see her again, he better not tell anyone or hang up the phone. Jeff was terrified. He asked the man specific questions about his daughter and he asked to speak to her. The man on the phone refused and began to threaten Jeff even more.
“It scared me to death. The guy says ‘You know I’ll kill her. You’ll never see her again. You’ll be paying for a funeral.’”
Jeff and his co-workers managed to get a hold of Jeff’s wife, LeeAnn. LeeAnn confirmed that their daughter was safe at school. When Jeff was sure his daughter was safe, he hung up the phone. He had been a victim of a scam known as virtual kidnapping.
Virtual kidnapping is becoming more and more common. The “kidnappers” try to make their victims feel helpless by telling them their child is in danger, hoping the victim will do whatever they say.
The Weber family is sharing their story to warn other parents about virtual kidnapping. If it happens to you, the family advises, “Keep the caller on the phone as long as possible. Say whatever you have to, do not hang up, and find a way to also call police and call your son or daughter to make sure they are safe and where they are supposed to be.”
Watch the video below to learn more about kidnapping scams: