From the South Milwaukee Police Department …
SMPD has received some reports from citizens who are being called by an unknown person claiming that a relative of the citizen has been in an accident and is now being held against their will by the caller and his associates. The caller threatens bodily harm to the person they claim to be holding if the citizen does not produce money or if they hang up the phone.
The scammer …tries to keep the citizen on the phone with them while directing them to obtain cash and bring it to a specific drop off location. Many times the scammer will be vague in their description of the relative they claim to have abducted (they will give vague physical characteristics and/or vehicle) which then causes the citizen to fill in information. This makes it appear that the suspect/caller knows details about that relative. In the reports that we have taken on incidents of this type the relative who was alleged to have been held hostage was contacted and found to be fine, never abducted, and knew nothing about any accident or situation.
This is not a new scam and is one that has been seen in many jurisdictions. If you receive a call of this type, please contact the police. Calls have been reported to have come in to both cell phones as well as land line phones.