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DV Pilot police & fire

'Kidnapped' Fair Lawn Student OK After Scam Ransom Call To Dad

Police constantly warn about phone scammers.
Police constantly warn about phone scammers. Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. -- A woman on the other end of the line yelled for help before a scam caller from a phone number in Mexico told an employee at the Valley Hospital in Ridgewood that his teenage daughter was being held for ransom late Thursday morning.

It was bogus.

The employee "believed the caller had the wrong number and hung up on the caller and contacted the Ridgewood police, Chief Jacqueline Luthcke said.

Village police, in turn, asked their colleagues in Fair Lawn, where the girl goes to school, to check on her, the chief said.

She was "safe and in school as expected," Luthcke said.

"There are many types of phone scams and the frequency of scam phone calls is increasing," the chief said. "Very often people are asked to pay with some sort of prepaid or gift cards and no legitimate company would take payment in that manner. "Regarding the kidnapping or a family member 'needs help due to an accident' calls, please check with your family member and contact the police before believing the caller on the line."

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