Alert Westport Bank Employee Foils Kidnapping Scam, Police Say

A woman who received a call demanding money saying her daughter was being held hostage was saved from falling for the scam by an alert bank teller in Fairfield County.

An alert employee at Westport's M&T bank saved a customer from a kidnapping scam.
An alert employee at Westport's M&T bank saved a customer from a kidnapping scam. Photo Credit: Pixabay/diegoparra and Google Maps street view/Tango Papa Juliet

The incident took place in Westport on Thursday, March 23 at the M&T Bank, said Lt. Eric Woods of the. Westport Police.

Woods said the bank called for help after a customer reported she received a call from a man saying he and the victim’s daughter had been in a motor vehicle accident and the daughter was being held as a hostage. He then demanded she withdraw as much money as she could in exchange for the safe return of her daughter.

In the background, the victim could hear a female voice screaming and crying, Woods said.

The victim went to the bank as instructed and attempted to withdraw all of the money in her account. An alert bank employee felt that something was wrong as the victim was obviously upset. 

The bank employee questioned the victim about the withdrawal and immediately recognized it to be a scam. The bank contacted the Westport Police Department who responded and had the victim contact her daughter who advised that she was fine and at work, Woods said.

Woods said the department has seen this scam and others similar in the past few weeks.

"Alert bank employees, like the one at M&T, have aided and prevented at least three scams in the last week alone," Woods said. 

He said the department reminds residents to be cognizant of these scams and provides the following tips:

  • Do not send any money or gift cards to an unknown person.
  • Make contact with any family member who claims to be in danger prior to sending money.
  • Call the police if unable to contact family members.
  • Report any potential scam.

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