Family loses over $4,000 in popular phone scam

Posted at 6:26 PM, Aug 26, 2014
and last updated 2014-08-27 00:22:24-04

Middletown, Conn. — A Connecticut woman got the scare of her life after she thought her son had been arrested and was scammed out of thousands of dollars. Sharon Faraone said she is now warning others in hopes of preventing them from becoming victims.

“He sounded just like my son. He had the same mannerism as my son,” Faraone said.

Faraone said when the phone rang on Aug. 18, she thought her son was in some big trouble with Fairfield police. The man on the phone said he was her son and needed money to be bailed out of jail.

“I didn’t want to call my daughter-in-law because I figured she was upset over what happened,” Faraone said.

Seconds later, Faraone said another man told her that he was captain with the Fairfield Police Department and she should purchase about $4,000 in cards. Then she should scratch off the back of the card and provide the number when he called back. She complied, but later realized it was a scam after calling her daughter-in-law, Irene Faraone.

“We are in Middletown. My husband and I live in New Britain,” Irene Faraone said. “There’s no reason why either of us would be in Fairfield.”

“I get a call frantically from my wife, ‘honey – how’s everything? Are you OK,” said Nicola Faraone, the victim’s son. “And I go ‘absolutely. I’m in the middle of the grocery sales floor doing my job.'”

Nicola Faraone said he had no clue that his parents had just been scammed out of $4,000.

“$4,000 can go a really long way and my heart is broken for them,” Irene Faraone said.

“It’s just a low ball thing to do,” Nicola Faraone said.

The impostors provided an 888 number to call back if they had any questions. But they had no success getting in touch with the alleged scammers. Eyewitness News tried calling the number and someone picked up the line.

But while trying to explain what the station was doing, that person hung up the phone. When Eyewitness News called the same number, an automated message in a different language was heard by the reporter.

“I hope they catch them and they stop bothering people,” Sharon Faraone said.

The Middletown Police Department said this scam is something they see all the time. They are investigating the incident.

If you get a similar call, the best thing for you to do is get a contact number and file a complaint with the state attorney general’s office.