Con artist claims, falsely, to have kidnapped Fairfield teen

A caller demanded $1,500 for the return of a Greenfield Street family’s 16-year-old son on April 3. The man had names and phone numbers, but he didn’t have the teen.

Fairfield police reported the call originated from Puerto Rico, from a number used in 740 different scams and attempts to con people out of money in the last few days. The same number was attached to an incident in Stratford the day before the Fairfield call, and to a similar attempt in Bridgeport a year ago.

The caller initially called the 16-year-old’s cell phone claiming his younger brother was in an accident.

That was easily disproved when it was made clear the brother was with their father.

About an hour later, the father received a call on his cell phone, from someone claiming to have kidnapped the older son. The caller demanded $1,500 sent via Western Union.

Initial attempts to contact the 16-year-old to verify his safety failed. His cell phone had run out of charge. He eventually checked in and confirmed he was OK.

The father attempted to schedule a meeting with the caller, to no avail.

Fairfield officers called the number and told the party on the other end to knock it off and stop calling the family. The cell phone provider was also notified and a call history was acquired that showed hundreds of calls made within days.

Police couldn’t elaborate on how the caller obtained target information, including names and numbers.

The number associated with the calls is a Fort Lauderdale, Fla., exchange though officers said the calls seem to have originated in Puerto Rico.

Police released the number, 954-647-0549, to help notify the public.

The website 800notes.com has a number of complaints from this phone number starting on March 23, viewable at http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-954-647-0549.

A call to the number went was answered after going through an automated answering service. The person on the other end was unintelligible and could or would not verify any information.

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