Grandmother: Scammers threatened my family

Deputies searching for scammers hitting Central Florida

ORLANDO - One day after a man caused a bank robbery scare because scammers said they were holding his son hostage, another victim has come forward to Local 6, about how she stopped the scam before it went too far.

"It's scary. He scared me. I was crying," said Jean McVay, who said the scam was so convincing, she thinks someone will eventually become another victim, and she's talking about her experience to warn others.

When McVay's phone rang late one night last week, her heart dropped. The caller said her granddaughter crashed into their motorcycle, they wanted money, and were holding her granddaughter hostage.

"My heart was pumping fast," said McVay as she recounted the horrifying phone call. "I said, 'What's her name? Ask her, 'What is her name.'' 'No ma'am, you don't understand. He's got a gun to her heard. We kidnapped her and we are going to blow her head off unlesss you meet us.'"

McVay can't explain how the caller somehow knew she had just loaned her granddaughter her car that day, but the caller used that information to try to scam her. They wanted her to get cash and meet them at the intersection at East Colonial Drive and Alafaya Trail.

But McVay knew something was wrong.

"I said you know what? Unless you tell me what her name is, I'm going to do one up for you. I'm calling Orange County. I hung up, called 911 and they told me it was a scam, she said.

McVay was able to figure out the scam before it was too late, but a father on Thursday did not.

He asked us to not reveal his identity but in an exclusive interview, he told Local 6 "The phone rings. Somebody told me they had my son hostage, told me they were going to shoot him in the face if I didn't give them money."

A teller thought he was trying to rob a bank when he handed them a note asking for help. The father said he truly thought his son was in danger.

"They said my son's name, and I flipped out the minute they said my son's name," he said.

Deputies said that's what the scammers do -- they fish for information to try to make their scam even more convincing.

McVay thinks the people who tried to scam her are the same ones who tried to the father on Thursday. In both cases, the victims said two men were on the phone, and in both cases, the scam ended up near Alafaya Trail.

Deputies are working to catch the criminals behind this latest series of scams.

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