Imagine answering the phone to someone on the other end distraught with fear claiming to be your child and saying they've been abducted.
It's a phone call a parent in Hutchinson, Minnesota, recently received, and the city's police department says it was a scam attempting to trick the parent into wiring money.
The parent received a call from a female who was crying and distraught, identifying herself as his daughter and saying she was abducted and tied up in the trunk of a car.
A man then took the phone and told the parent that he took his daughter in front of Walmart and to get her back he needed to send ransom money through Western Union.
The savvy parent didn't bite, instead becoming suspicious and calling police.
It turned out that his daughter was safe at school the entire time and investigators traced the original phone call to somewhere in Mexico.
Hutchinson police say anyone who gets a call demanding ransom money in exchange for a loved one needs to report it immediately, and anyone questions or concerns can contact the department at 320-587-2242.
Abduction scams have become an unfortunately common trick used by criminals to dupe unsuspecting parents and grandparents.
Similar attempts prompted warning a couple of years ago in the Twin Cities suburbs of Edina and Bloomington, while in San Francisco a terrified mother ended up wiring money to Mexico after being convinced by scammers her daughter had been kidnapped.
Scammers are armed with just enough information to make you believe it's real, but those receiving the calls are advised to try and note down the phone number they're using then call police.