How the scam works:
(with video below) The Paramedic Call Scam is an insidious con that plays with the victim’s desire to protect those they love most.
You receive a call out of the blue and the person at the other end says is a paramedic informing you that one of your loved ones is hurt badly in a traffic accident that just “happened 30 minutes ago”. “We looked in the wallet for the info of your household and that’s why we call”, he might say. The background sound of the call is carefully set up (sirens, hospital noise, people crying, etc).
You have no reason to doubt them, so your mind jumps to anyone you may be worried about: a brother who’s been clubbing a bit too much, your mom that doesn’t pay as much attention to the road as she should, or a friend that takes shortcuts through dark alleys. And once you give away who it is, it’s all over. How does the scam work?
Watch the video below to see in action the Paramedic Scam Call scam exposed.
The scammer waits for their victim to jump to a conclusion and give away who they think is hurt. They then use that information to make their story more credible. At first, they ask for money to ensure that the operation, or whatever they say is needed, will go smoothly. If that doesn’t work, they’ll drop the act and threaten to kill your loved one if you don’t give them the money.
Some scammers will even shoot a gun to give the situation a bit more urgency. At this point, most victims panic and agree to give them the money, even if they have their doubts about whether the scammer is telling the truth or not. After all, better safe than sorry.
How to avoid:
If you get a call like this, never give away any information. Instead, ask the caller to describe the loved one that they’re claiming is hurt. If they are telling the truth, they should be able to describe your loved one and maybe even give a name. If you have suspicions of who got hurt or already gave away a name, make sure to contact that loved one on your own. If they answer the phone, odds are that you were being scammed.