OXFORD, Miss. – Police in Oxford, Mississippi, are warning people about a scam they started getting complaints about Monday.
It involves what sounds like a child screaming “Mommy!” and man making demands. Police said like most scams, this one plays on a person’s emotions and has been successful across the country.
“Everybody comes from different angles, but their angle is always the same. They’re trying to steal personal information, and they’re trying to solicit money,” said Breck Jones, a public information officer with the Oxford Police Department.
Jones explained exactly how the scam plays out.
“Somebody will call and you pick up and it sounds like a child’s voice saying, ‘mommy.’ Then you’ll hear what sounds like and Hispanic male coming on the line and starts making demands,” Jones said.
Oxford Police posted a warning, and the reported phone number being used after being contacted by several potential victims.We contacted the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South who told us the phone number has too many digits to originate in the United States.
The BBB said no complaints have been filed in Memphis so far, however, that can quickly change.
“But I did check our nationwide “scam tracker” and since January 1st of this year. The BBB’s received a hundred and seventeen reports of something similar to what the Oxford Police Department warned about for a total loss of $30,000,” said Daniel Irwin of the Better Business Bureau.
Irwin said $30,000 in what’s classified as an “emergency scam” aimed at someone’s emotions.
“Sometimes it’s a ransom situation. Sometimes it’s someone saying they’re trying to help a family member, but somewhere along the line they will request money,” Irwin said.
The BBB warns that usually the scammer will want you to transfer that money via wire transfer to an account. Sometimes they want you to go get pre paid gift cards, but in this particular scam usually they’re looking for a high dollar amount that exceeds the limit for a prepaid gift card.