Phone Scam: Caller claims to hold child for ransom

Posted at 11:22 PM, Oct 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-31 23:22:09-04

Yassar Abdel Rehim owner of Advanced Auto Brokers fields phone calls all day long. Normally he's quoting prices for the cars on his lot, but Sunday a stranger called the family with a life or death bargain.

"Inside I was destroyed, I mean that's my older son, my wife almost passed out, my daughter turned pale,"

He says a call came in to his younger son Chad's phone that day. A man on the other end began telling him his brother Taylor had been in an accident.

"Just to let you know your brother backed up his car into my brothers motorcycle, he hit him and your brother wanted to call the police, so my brother got nervous, he is a fugitive," said Yassar speaking about the phone call Chad received.

"He said yeah my brother pulled a gun on your brother (Taylor) and then hit him because he (Taylor) was trying to call the police," said Chad.

Yassar quickly took over the conversation from Chad when the man began demanding a ransom of $1,000 to return Taylor home safe. Directing them to make a cash drop at a specified location.

"He said no I'm sorry your going to do it our way, I said no I'm not going to do that, what if you killed my son already," said Yassar.

The family quickly dialed 911 and began recording the conversation. In that recording Yassar is heard demanding to speak with his son Taylor before any payment could be made. Little did the crook know his son Chad was calling Taylor on his cell phone at the time.

The sheriffs office says they're seeing an increase in this scam throughout both Hillsborough and Pasco County.

Most of the time the crooks find just enough personal information on the internet or social media to make the scam seem legitimate.

Of course Taylor was fine the whole time but tonight this family wants to warn others not to fall for the ploy.

"People should be aware that something like this is happening because a lot of people will go and pay," said Yassar.