Savannah woman warns about kidnapping phone scam

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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Brandyn Reagan spent what she calls “9 minutes of agony” Wednesday night after answering a call that her phone said was from her mother.

“The phone said ‘Mom” and it was her ring tone,” said Reagan.

But when she picked up the phone, she heard a woman crying. “It sounded like my mom, and the woman seemed to be in distress,” said Reagan.

Then, Reagan says a man came on the phone and indicated he had her mother.

“That’s just when the terror set in,” she said. “He told me he was going to blow her brains out if I called the police or if I freaked out and didn’t do what he said.”

He wanted $2,500 through Venmo. She only had $500, so the man said he would take that.

All the while, she was asking if she could talk to her mother.

“I could hear her crying louder in the background and I said, OK, you have your money, now leave.”

At the same time, Regan’s boyfriend had been on the phone with her brother.

“He came in and said, ‘I have your mom on the phone and your brother,’ she’s safe and this is a hoax,” Reagan said.

WSAV spoke with her mother and she said her son had come to her home Wednesday night and surprised her with the news that something was supposedly going on in her home.

“You know a lot of things that go through your head, you hear about scam calls but I had never heard of anything this crazy or this terrifying,” said Regan.

Reagan’s contacts were stolen somehow and then scammers spoofed the number making it look like it was coming from her mom. She had used Venmo earlier that day.

“I did use Venmo that day for a small amount of $75 dollars to a coworker,” she said. “So I don’t know if that triggered it, I really don’t know how it happened. I do know this has happened on the same day to two other coworkers.”

Reagan wants others to be aware of this scam. She suggests setting up a code word with loved ones, so if something happens you may be able to tell if it really is your relative on the phone.

She also says while she knows it was a lie, that the fear and concern she felt isn’t going aways

“You can’t just say that it’s the next day and we just go on,” Reagan said. “It doesn’t seem to work that way.”

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