Atlanta woman out hundreds of dollars after scam call claiming to hold her mother hostage

ATLANTA — A woman says she lost hundreds of dollars in an elaborate phone scam. Someone had called her, claiming they were holding her mother hostage.

She shared her story with Channel 2′s Veronica Griffin.

“I heard her say my name and then she was crying, like wailing,” victim Steph Mold said.

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Cries for help. Mold believes it was her mother’s voice on the other end of a cellphone call she received Thursday afternoon.

But soon after, she heard a man’s voice.

“It was a man who was screaming to her to quiet down. He got on the phone with me and said my mother said that I could help him get money to go back to his baby in Baton Rouge.”

Mold says the man yelled expletives and threatened to hurt her mother, who lives in Florida.

The same man also demanded that money be sent immediately, via a cash app.


“Not really understanding what was going on, I envisioned a hostage situation at my mother’s home and of course I panicked. Even more because I didn’t know how help other to do what he told me to do.”

Fearing for her mother’s life, Mold did as she was told, sending three different deposits totaling close to $600.

“I was panicking and shaking. I was almost crying,” Mold said.

It was a call that lasted about 15 minutes and turned out to be a scam.

Mold says the call cost her more than the hundreds in cash. It also cost her a sense of self-security.

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“I was so mortified that somebody could do this to other people. And realness because it came from my mother’s phone number, and the voice was hers as well.”

The details of Mold’s story fall right in line with what the FBI refers to as virtual kidnapping.

They advise people to talk to their family members to warn them about these types of scams.

It’s exactly why this victim is sharing her story.


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