SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - We've told you before of the 'Grandparent Scam' - someone on the other end of the phone pretends to be a grandchild in distress to con people out of money. Well, the familiar hoax has taken a twist, and one Valley mom said she was conned out of more than $1,000.
"The voice on the other line was my daughter hysterically, frantically crying, begging me to help her, telling me she's been in an accident," said Amy, who doesn't want to give her last name.
Even though she said she was positive it was really her daughter on the line Wednesday around noon, we now know it wasn't. The threats from the man calling from a Mexico phone number also seemed very real.
"He was very intimidating from the first second he spoke, saying shut up, just listen," Amy said.
She said he grew even more violent.
"I'll chop her fingers off, wrap them in her panties and send them to you," Amy said the man who identified himself as "Pedro" told her over the phone. Amy said he asked for her cross streets.
"From there, I think he had me on Google Maps, directing me to the nearest Western Union, because he wanted me to wire money to Mexico," Amy said.
She went to Bank of America and Western Union. She said she wired $1,200, only thinking of the safe return of her daughter, who hadn't answered her text.
"She didn't respond. She didn't see my text, so it was the perfect storm," Amy said.
The FBI won't confirm or deny they're investigating, but on their website, they say virtual kidnapping cases are hard to investigate and prosecute because almost all of the subjects are in Mexico, and the money is wired out of the country, making it tough to trace.
"I don't think I'm someone that's going to fall for scams like that, but I'd go to the ends of the earth for my child," Amy said.
For a list from the FBI of what to look out for, click here.