Minnesota Mother Warns Of Scary Phone Scam That Cost Her Thousands

By Taylor Linzinmeir

August 22, 2022

Worried girl checking smart phone in the street
Photo: Getty Images

A Minnesota mother is warning others of a frightening phone scam that cost her thousands of dollars, according to CBS News.

Linda Austad of Minneapolis was stuck in a 6-hour ordeal Saturday (August 20) after she received a phone call from an unknown number. "There was a girl that was crying, and she said, 'Mom, I was in an accident,' and it sounded just like my daughter," Austad said.

Austad said a man then took the phone, at first claiming to be a police officer. He later changed his story. "[He said] 'I kidnapped your daughter, and you need to follow my instructions and you need to stay on the phone with me or I'll cut off her finger or kill her,'" Austad said.

The man told Austad he was in a drug cartel and instructed her to drive to several Walmarts and complete money transfers to people in Mexico. She ended up sending $2,800. "I was under so much stress because I thought for sure he had her, because it sounded just like her," Austad said. "It was just the scariest day of my life."

Once the last of the money went through, the scammer came clean and hung up. Austad says a police dispatcher told her to call 311 on Monday to file a report.

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