Fake kidnappers target local mom after daughter posts about vacation

WRENTHAM, Mass. — A local mother thought her worst nightmare had come true when she was told her daughter had been kidnapped while on vacation.

The caller told Patricia Hebner she needed to pay a ransom, or else her daughter would be killed.

It was all a scam, but a very elaborate one that had Hebner very worried about her daughter in Mexico.

“A man came on and said I have your daughter, she's in the back of the van. I'm going to kill her, unless you get me some money,” Hebner said. “There was the screaming crying. It was like ‘mom, help me mom, help me mom.’ I said ‘Victoria is that you?’”

Hebner kept the scammers on the phone while she went to a neighbor’s home and had them call for police.

“She's claiming that she got a phone number. She wants traced, that somebody may have taken her daughter,” a dispatcher said on a 911 recording of that phone call.

Wrentham police are warning that scammers are now tracking people on social media, an Instagram post from Victoria about going away may have tipped them off.

“I think they got into her phone and saw my number. I was her mom, they knew they can get money from me,” she said.

Police were able to track down her daughter about 45 minutes later, but after such a scary situation she wants everyone to be careful.

“Get their names out of your phone under mom. Go under a fake name,” she said.

Investigators haven’t been able to determine who the scammers are, but they’re also saying to use extra caution when posting online.