Phone scam threatens NC church leader

A church leader was told his daughter had been kidnapped and was asked to give money, but it was all a scam.

CHARLOTTE, N.C.-- A frightening threat was made against a church leader who was told his daughter was kidnapped and in danger.

The suspects on the other line demanded money.

The incident was all a scam, but it highlights why you need to constantly be vigilant to protect yourself.

The victim, Mark Uptegraff, told NBC Charlotte he thought he heard his daughter’s voice on the phone calling for help.

“I heard from a distance, ‘Daddy help me,'” said Mark Uptegraff, administrator at Ebenezer Baptist Church.

This all played out inside of his office. He described what the suspect said to him.

“Don’t drop this call, don’t try to contact the police, or we’ll kill your daughter,” said Uptegraff.  “I was very concerned and panicked.”

His assistant called 911 for him, and a short time later he went to go get money for the suspects.

It wasn’t until police arrived, he realized it was a scam.

“It’s a shame that’s what the world’s coming to,” he said.

Now, NBC Charlotte is looking at tips that could prepare for you for a similar situation.

The Better Business Bureau says watch out for anyone who threatens you if you get off the phone or try to verify information, and always be weary of someone only accepting pre-paid cards.

“I was fortunate that first of all, my daughter was safe,” said Uptegraff. He was able to get help before losing any money.

The BBB says they’re aware of other people who’ve lost thousands of dollars to a similar scam.

© 2017 WCNC.COM


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