Couple successfully avoids scam

OKEECHOBEE — A local couple reported to the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office (OCSO) that an unknown male caller stated their son was being held hostage.

According to an OCSO incident report by Deputy Mark Margerum, the husband received a call Friday, Sept. 15, on his cell phone from an unknown phone number with a 305 area code. The unknown caller said he and the man’s son were involved in a traffic crash. The caller went on to say he was wanted by law enforcement so he took the man’s son hostage and beat him with the butt of a pistol, the report stated.

Apparently the caller then told the man to remain on the line and drive to the nearest Western Union to send him $900 for the release of his son. Or, continued the scammer, he would kill the son if the man hung up or contacted law enforcement.

The couple drove to town where the caller would then give them information on where to send the funds, the report continued. As the couple was on their way to town the wife called their son, who lives in Miami.

The husband reportedly then told the unknown caller that he knew his son was all right and hung up the phone.

Deputy Margerum reportedly told the father this was a scam and how it operates. He then gave the couple the sheriff’s office phone number and the assigned case number.

No monetary loss was reported.

The Lake Okeechobee News is published every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and now includes news from around the lake every Wednesday.

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